Published on March 27th, 2018 | by Nicolas Zart0
SEAT Proudly Proclaims It Will Launch One New Gas Car Every 6 Months Until 2020 To Kick Off “Electric Offensive”
March 27th, 2018 by Nicolas Zart
SEAT just announced that it will launch one new car every six months until 2020 in order to lead up to its first fully electric car. The devil is in the details and we wonder if drivers see through what the company is doing?
Celebrating Gas To Introduce Electric — Sorta
Sometimes it seems the marketing department functions in a universe of its own. How does Volkswagen let SEAT celebrate the introduction of its first electric car in 2020? Simply by saying that it will introduce a gas car until then every six months. We stopped and let that sink a little further, but then asked why. Why would SEAT celebrate the launch of its first electric car by introducing a gasoline car every six months until 2020, roughly 5 gasoline models?
It’s a bit unclear. SEAT talks about an “Electric Offensive,” but the next two models it is going to launch are large gas vehicles, the SEAT Tarraco and the CUPRA Ateca. Eventually, it highlights, a plug-in hybrid version of the new SEAT Leon will come out in 2020, and a fully electric car with 500 km of range (a nice big and even number) will also be unveiled. Talk about high hopes — our response is a bit of a thump.
In the interest of CleanTechnica, we’ll skip through what else happens until 2020. What does SEAT actually know and have planned in regards to coming electric vehicles? We realized that the “SEAT electric car” won’t be a ground-up effort. It will have its own shell, but it will rest on VW’s well-appreciated MEB platform — which is OK, if not somewhat of a letdown. What we really found out, in the end, is that this is SEAT’s way of saying they are celebrating the introduction of a PHEV and EV in 2020 by introducing a new gasoline car every 6 months until then. What the company is telling us is that it is finally, maybe, sort of taking the electric future seriously.
Luca de Meo, SEAT’s President, announced that SEAT is moving along its electric mobility with the hybridization of its Leon in 2020. He was later quoted saying: “we can be happy with the 2017 results, but we shouldn’t be satisfied. Together we’ve closed a period of consolidation and now it’s time to look to the future with the ambition to grow.” In simpler English: We were slow to get on the electric wave, but we’re thinking about the future now.
In actuality, this is what we’ve been working on (two new big gas vehicles):
And, oh yeah, electric cars are coming in 2020.
VW, Are We There Yet?
VW and EVs have had an estranged relationship. At times it has taunted us with the expectation something was right around the corner — as it seemed 10 years ago with the original mouth-watering e-tron of 2009, and as it’s doing again today with a promise of electric cars that will come to us from 2020 to 2022. In the meantime, you can be sure VW will use PR as much as possible to keep the public’s attention focused on the future and not the present mess.
As far as SEAT’s overall business, it plans to grow its potential based on its four pillars: “more brands, more markets, more cars and more energies.” So far, the company is doing well financially, enjoying a record 2017 year. Why care about a clean future, a genuine electric future? Why not just drop some concept images of an electric racer and vague 2020 plans that mention 500 km of range? Well, we can agree on the term “offensive,” just not in the way SEAT used it.