Martorell, 12/01/2021. The impact of COVID-19 has temporarily slowed down SEAT S.A.’s sales. After growing steadily since 2013, the car company reduced deliveries by 25.6% in 2020 and sold 427,000∗ cars (2019: 574,078), after reaching the highest volume in the company’s history in 2019.
By country, Germany consolidated its position as the leading market for SEAT S.A., with 109,500 vehicles sold, 17.4% less than in 2019 (132,500), a market share of 4% and 25.6% of the company’s total sales. This was followed by Spain with 73,300 cars, 32.1% less than the previous year (108,000), where the SEAT brand was the leader for the third year running, and the United Kingdom, with 45,600, 33.8% less (68,800). Spain and the United Kingdom were the two main European markets where the automotive sector was most affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Despite the pandemic, SEAT S.A. deliveries grew in countries such as Turkey and Israel. In Turkey, SEAT almost doubled its sales to a total of 11,600 cars, up 95.3% (5,900), while in Israel the company broke its sales record for the seventh consecutive year, reaching a total of 10,400 cars sold, up 13% from 2019 (9.200).
SEAT and CUPRA President Wayne Griffiths explained that “SEAT S.A.’s results are in line with those of the automotive sector in Europe. 2020 was a very difficult year due to the paralysis caused by COVID-19 in the spring and the effects of the second wave of the pandemic in the last part of the year. Before COVID-19, SEAT S.A. sales grew by 6%, and also increased to record levels in September, when the number of people affected by the virus decreased.”
Concerning 2021, Griffiths indicated that “we expect the first quarter to be complicated because of restrictions in the supply of components due to the effects of the pandemic. Even so, we are optimistic as there’s a healthy demand for our models and we expect to achieve a solid increase in 2021. Sales will recover as soon as the health crisis improves and mobility restrictions are lifted. The new electrified models and the boost that the Formentor will give CUPRA sales will be key to our growth.”
CUPRA grows in 2020 and breaks its monthly record
The young brand CUPRA broke its sales record in 2020, reaching a total of 27,400 vehicles sold, 11% more than in 2019 (24,700), boosted by countries such as Germany, Italy and Mexico and the positive acceptance of the CUPRA Leon e-HYBRID. In December, CUPRA also achieved the best ever sales volume in its history in one month, with 3,600 cars sold, 93.1% more than in December 2019 (1,900). Since the creation of CUPRA in 2018, it has already sold more than 65,000 cars.
CUPRA’s best-selling model in 2020 was the Leon, with 13,300 units. The performance of the CUPRA Ateca was also prominent, with 10,500 vehicles sold, and the new Formentor, of which 3,600 units have been delivered since its launch at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, sales of the SEAT brand fell by 27.3% in 2020 to a total of 399.600 vehicles delivered (2019: 549.400), after becoming the fastest growing brand in Europe in the previous three years. The drop in sales in markets such as Spain and the United Kingdom, which were severely affected by pandemic restrictions, explains this reduction. By model, the SEAT Leon was once again the brand’s best-selling car (111,900), ahead of the Arona (91,600), the Ibiza (81,600) and the Ateca (68,700).
Wayne Griffiths highlighted that: “The success of CUPRA in such a complicated environment fills us with confidence and optimism about the growth of the brand. 2021 will be the year of transformation. We now have a wider range thanks to the new CUPRA Formentor and the new Leon family, both with plug-in hybrid electric versions, and this year we’ll be presenting the CUPRA el-Born, the brand’s first electric model. In addition, our network of sales outlets is also growing.” Griffiths also pointed out that 2021 will see a recovery in SEAT’s sales: “The improvement in the health and economic environment, together with the update of the Arona and Ibiza, which we will present in a few months, the new Leon family and the revamped Ateca, will allow SEAT to return to a path of growth.”
2021, a year full of electrified novelties
SEAT S.A. plans to launch three new electrified models in 2021, which will join the SEAT Mii electric, the company’s first 100% electric vehicle, and the e-HYBRID versions of the SEAT Leon and CUPRA Leon.
In the first quarter of 2021, CUPRA will launch the two plug-in hybrid electric versions of the Formentor, which will be key to the development of the new model, and plans to launch the CUPRA el-Born, the brand’s first 100% electric model, in the second half of the year.
In turn, the new SEAT Tarraco e-HYBRID will also hit the road at the beginning of this year. In addition, SEAT will renew two of the brand’s other best-selling models in 2021 - the Ibiza and the Arona.
* Combined result of the SEAT and CUPRA brands.