Volkswagen Group sub-brand Cupra has been market testing the possible entry into the US market, according to SEAT Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths. Cupra has expanded to new markets outside of Western Europe recently and has multiple all-electric models in its production pipeline in Spain as it looks to grow its recognition as its own standalone EV brand.
SEAT Cupra, S.A.U., better known as Cupra, is a high-performance subsidiary of Spanish automaker SEAT founded in 2018. Parent company SEAT has been wholly-owned by Volkswagen Group since the mid-80s.
Although it originated as a performance-focused sub-brand of SEAT, Cupra has emerged as its own unique brand with its own models. Now, the Spanish automaker is going electric – promising three new EV models by 2025, including the upcoming UrbanRebel.
That electrification announcement also included plans for expansion into new markets like Mexico and Australia. Sales in those markets are already underway with Colombia and Chile to soon follow. According to SEAT Cupra’s CEO, however, the US market may soon be a target, as long as the automaker can continue to expand in Europe first.
The US could help Cupra reach its production output goals
SEAT Cupra recently shared a press release outlining its production targets for EVs moving forward, as it continues to expand its reach through Europe and beyond. Per the Spanish automaker’s CEO, the markets in North America, particularly the US, could offer a new group on consumers forever hungry for larger EVs. Per CEO Wayne Griffiths:
As far as our ambition of being truly global, we are currently analyzing a possible entry into the North American market. At the moment, we are testing our brand with potential clients; we think Americans would love Cupra’s design and great performance.
While Cupra is merely testing the market waters in the US, Griffiths went on to say that initial feedback has been promising. That said, the brand is not yet sharing which of its models it may be considering to ship over to US consumers.
The VW Group subsidiary currently only sells one EV – the Cupra Born, but it will soon be joined by the all-electric Tavascan compact SUV, then the aforementioned UrbanRebel. In a previous interview with Autocar, Griffiths explained that the automaker will probably need to go bigger in order to compete with other automakers selling in the US:
You need a car in the US that’s fit for the US and electric. A US electric car is generally bigger, so it will be a next generation of electric cars that would be based on the SSP platform from VW.
The SSP platform remains in developement and is not expected until 2025 at the earliest. Several of the electric vehicles for Volkswagen, SEAT, and Cupra could eventually be built atop that new platform in Spain, under a recently announced influx of cash from the Group to make SEAT’s existing production footprint a new EV and battery hub for Europe.