The impact of the COVID-19 has temporarily slowed SEAT sales. After growing steadily since 2013, the car company reduced deliveries by 2020 by 25.6% and sold 427,000 cars (2019: 574,100), after reaching in 2019 the highest volume in the history of the company.
By country, Germany was consolidated as the first SEAT market, with 109,500 vehicles sold, 17.4% less than in 2019 (132,500), a market share of 4% and 25.6% of total sales of the company. Then came Spain with 73,300 cars, 32.1% below the previous year (108,000), and where the SEAT brand was the leader for the third consecutive year, and the United Kingdom, with 45,600, a 33 , 8% less (68,800). Spain and the United Kingdom have been the two main European markets in which the automotive sector has been most affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Despite the pandemic, SEAT deliveries have grown in countries such as Turkey and Israel. In Turkey, SEAT has almost doubled sales to a total of 11,600 cars sold, up 95.3% (5,900), while in Israel the company has broken its sales record for the seventh year in a row and achieved a total of 10,400 vehicles sold, 13% more than in 2019 (9,200).
The President of SEAT and CUPRA, Wayne Griffiths, explained that “SEAT’s results are in line with those of the automotive sector in Europe. 2020 has been a very difficult year due to the shutdown caused by COVID-19 during the spring and the effects of the second wave of the pandemic at the end of the year. Prior to COVID-19, SEAT sales grew by 6%, and also rose to record levels in September, when the number of people affected by the virus fell.
About 2021, Griffiths stated that “we anticipate that the first quarter will be complicated by restrictions on the supply of components due to the effect of the pandemic. However, we are optimistic that we have good demand for our models and expect to achieve a solid increase in 2021. When the health situation improves and restrictions on mobility are removed, sales will recover. The new electrified models and the impetus that the Formentor will give to the sales of CUPRA will be key for our growth ”.
2021, a year with electrified novelties
SEAT plans to launch three new electrified models in 2021, which will be added to the SEAT Mii electric, SEAT’s first 100% electric vehicle, and the e-HYBRID versions of the SEAT León and the CUPRA León. In the first quarter of 2021, CUPRA will launch the two plug-in hybrid electric versions of the Formentor and in the second half of the year is scheduled to launch the CUPRA el-Born, the brand’s first 100% electric model. For its part, the new SEAT Tarraco e-HYBRID will also hit the roads in the first weeks of this year. In addition, SEAT will renew in 2021 two of the best-selling models of the brand: the Ibiza and the Arona.
Management and unions negotiate the ERTO
The management of SEAT and the union representatives have started this Monday the negotiation of the Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTO) for the lack of supply of semiconductors. It will take place between January 25 and June 30.
The automotive industry proposes that the temporary file affect the closure of a maximum of 20 days for the production of lines 1, 2 and 3 of Martorell and, on the other hand, 400 daily workers.
It also includes the shutdown for about 20 days of the production of the Zona Franca, a plant where about 1,500 employees work, apart from an ERTO of 150 workers per day and, finally, the closure for 30 days of the Prat component center, which has a staff of 1,050 people.
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