Volkswagen’s Cupra, a sporty spinoff with a bit of an eye on electrification, is reportedly mulling over an expansion to the United States. According to Automotive News, the move would be part of an overall push to bring the brand to new markets. Cupra started out as a sub-brand for Spanish company SEAT, but it now has its own distinct models.
Right now, it’s not clear exactly what vehicles Cupra would sell in the U.S. if it was to come here. Wayne Griffiths, SEAT and Cupra CEO, said that if Cupra does enter this market, it would only do so with larger, full-electric vehicles. Can I get a BOOOOOOO, please?
“You need a car in the U.S. that’s fit for the U.S. and electric,” Griffiths said in an interview with Autocar. “A U.S. electric car is generally bigger, so it will be the next generation of electric cars that would be based on the SSP platform from VW.” The outlet says that platform is expected to come sometime after 2025.
He added that the timing of entering the U.S. market would most likely be linked to Cupra’s move to go all-electric across its lineup. That is set to happen by 2030, but before Cupra can make its way to the U.S., Griffiths says it needs to get stronger in Europe.
“The investment for making cars ready for America is considerable, and I think we need to be stronger first in Europe and make sure we’ve done our homework,” Griffiths said.
Right now, Curpa’s market share in Europe is 1.2 percent – a 60 percent increase from this time last year. However, the automaker wants to get that number to three or four percent.
The current lineup includes four fairly-small models. There’s the Leon (which comes in hatchback and wagon guise and can be had with a plug-in hybrid system), Formentor crossover, Ateca crossover, and the Born (an all-electric hatchback).
Auto News reports that next year, the lineup will expand to include the Tavascan, another compact crossover. However, this vehicle is going to be all-electric. Next year will also bring in the Terramar, a larger, mid-size crossover.
“As far as our ambition of being truly global, we are currently analyzing a possible entry into the North American market.” Griffiths told Auto News. “At the moment, we are testing our brand with potential clients; we think Americans would love Cupra’s design and great performance.” Apparently, the first results of those tests have been quite successful, according to Griffiths.
Cupra has reportedly started sales in both Mexico and Australia. Soon it will be adding Colombia and Chile. It’s all part of a mid-term goal of selling 500,000 vehicles per year.