SEAT & CUPRA enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2021 as combined share for the brands reached 4.1% for the first time. Sales at both brands were up significantly following a difficult 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the motor industry. SEAT & CUPRA recorded sales growth of 25% year-on-year in 2021, significantly above the market average 16% increase.
SUVs made up the bulk of sales activity, accounting for two-thirds (65%) of the overall sales mix in 2021. The Arona compact crossover was the best-selling SEAT in the country with 1,194 registrations (up 17% on 2020). Sales of the Tarraco rose by 41% (687 registrations) while the Ateca was also a strong seller (897 registrations). Registrations of the award-winning Leon hatchback rose a staggering 89% (511 units) while the Leon Sportstourer accounted for a further 169 registrations. Elsewhere, sales of the evergreen Ibiza supermini grew 10% (613 registrations). Meanwhile, the distinctive Formentor was far and away the most popular model in the CUPRA line-up, accounting for four out of five (80%) CUPRA sales.
In July, the brands broke their Irish sales record, with a combined total of 1,309 new vehicle registrations. It was the first time SEAT and CUPRA has recorded more than 1,300 registrations in a single month. A greater proportion of buyers chose to finance their purchase using SEAT Financial Services (up 22.5%) and CUPRA Personal Leasing as competitive finance rates is proving a hit with consumers. Meanwhile, more buyers took out a 3-year service plan at €9.99 per month for added peace of mind and better trade-in values
The CUPRA brand has seen rapid growth in the Irish market, increasing its product range with the addition of the popular Formentor already accounting for 80% of CUPRA sales. Of total Formentor sales, more than 40% to date are plug-in hybrid, reiterating that the brand is on an electrification journey.
In addition, the CUPRA retailer network has grown significantly to 10 in strategic locations under the unique ‘CUPRA Garage’ format. This further demonstrates the importance of the CUPRA brand within Volkswagen Group.
In October, legislators in The Dail approved e-scooters for use on Irish roads. As one of the leading providers of micro mobility solutions, SEAT welcomed the decisión which could pave the way for further sustainable mobility growth in urban areas. Micro-mobility solutions such as e-scooters and e-bikes are an important complement to traditional vehicle ownership. The SEAT MO range, which is available to order from SEAT retailers nationwide, includes the eKickScooter25 and the eKickScooter65. In 2022, the eKickScooter 125 will be will be added to the brand. Visit seat.ie for more information on the SEAT MO range.
In December, SEAT opened the doors of its pioneering battery research and development centre. Located in Martorell, the €7m Test Center Energy (TCE) facility will develop and test energy systems for electric and plug-in hybrid cars from CUPRA, SEAT and SEAT MÓ, as well as other Volkswagen Group brands. With a surface area of 1,500 m2 and a test capacity of up to 1.3 megawatts, the TCE tests cell modules, batteries and electric vehicles. The pioneering TCE forms part of the Volkswagen Group’s global R&D network and is the Group’s first such centre in Europe outside Germany, representing a huge step in the company’s commitment to electrification.
While 2021 saw SEAT and CUPRA make giant strides towards electrification with the introduction of new plug-in hybrid models, 2022 is the year when things go up a notch with the arrival of the all-electric CUPRA Born. Due in Ireland at the end of Q1, the Born starts from €36,360 (including grants). The 58kWh 204PS version will arrive first and will be followed by the 45kWh 150PS version later in 2022.
Despite not arriving in Ireland until the Spring, the CUPRA Born has already made its mark by being shortlisted for the internationally renowned European Car of the Year 2022 award. One of seven new vehicles nominated for the motor industry’s top prize, this is the second consecutive year a CUPRA model has been shortlisted following the CUPRA Formentor in 2021. The overall winner will be revealed in February but this nomination is testament to the incredible work being done at CUPRA.
The SEAT and CUPRA Aftersales business has had a record year including the highest level of throughputs, service plans increasing 8% YOY and, a record number of digital video health checks of over 5,000. All of these efforts along with our really strong customer satisfaction results has resulted in record breaking turnover despite a challenging year with the pandemic.
CUPRA Born isn’t the only electric model on the horizon. In 2024, CUPRA will launch the all-electric Tavascan, a dynamic and desirable SUV. In 2025 it will launch the UrbanRebel, as it strives to become a fully electrified brand.
SEAT and CUPRA have a range of attractive offers in its 221 range, including Finance rates starting from 1.9% and three-year service plans available from €9.99 per month. Drive away in a Brand new SEAT Leon from as little as €229pm or the Arona from €209pm. For more information, visit https://www.seat.ie/offers/new-car-offers/cars.html
Commenting on a record-breaking year, SEAT & CUPRA Ireland Brand Director, Niall Phillips, said: “Achieving record results in a year blighted by supply issues and the pandemic is a remarkable feat. SEAT and CUPRA continue to go from strength to strength and are firmly in the thoughts of Irish buyers when they come to changing their car. While it has taken a lot of hard work to get us to this stage, I firmly believe we are still only at the start of an incredible journey. 2022 is set to be our biggest year to date as we strengthen our existing range and take further steps towards electrification. I would like to thank our teams across the country for their hard work and dedication over the past 12 months. Without them we could not have come so far in such a short space of time. Here’s to 2022 and another year of remarkable growth.”