Seat could ditch cars entirely by the end of the decade, bosses have told Autocar, and rebrand itself as an urban mobility brand targeting young people.
The Spanish manufacturer, whose only EV is the £5,800 Mó scooter (pictured below), would also look at other aspects of “mobility solutions”, such as microcars and bikes, ahead of the European Union’s ban on new ICE car sales in 2035.
However, it told Autocar that any decision would likely be made by 2030, saying: “We're keeping Seat fresh and will continue with hybrid and high-efficiency combustion until the end of the decade.
“We're now analysing which role Seat will play in the future, when combustion [car sales] will finish.
“Seat could transform itself into a mobility solutions provider/an urban mobility brand for young people, like with the Seat Mó.”
Seat is also looking to grow this side of the business with a four-wheeled variant, as first previewed by the Renault Twizy-esque Minimó at the end of the last decade before the model was shelved due to the pandemic.
No plans are afoot to launch an electric car adorning a Seat badge before 2026, if at all, boss Wayne Griffiths said at the brand’s annual conference in March.
Instead electric car sales will be left to Cupra – Seat’s former sporting sub-brand, which became a standalone brand in 2018 – so that both aren't cannibalising each other's sales.
This is down to the pull of the young now-five-car brand, which in 2022 doubled its lifetime sales, and also as Cupra will release two new EVs over the next two years – the recently unveiled Tavascan in 2024 and the Urban Rebel in 2025.
“At this moment, Seat and Cupra are developing in parallel. We have the best of two worlds: combustion and electric,” Seat told Autocar.
Volkswagen Group-owned Seat’s current car range comprises the Ibiza, Leon, Leon Estate, Arona, Ateca and Tarraco. All are sold with either hybrid or pure-ICE power.