"We are analyzing a possible entry into the North American market," said CEO Wayne Griffiths.
Cupra, the high-performance brand of Volkswagen-owned Seat, has announced that it's looking at expanding into the North American market.
This was announced at Seat's annual press conference, with company president and CEO Wayne Griffiths telling attendees that new vehicles like the Terramar and Tavascan will allow it to enter new segments. In doing so, it wants to reach a mid-term ambition of selling 500,000 units annually. "We are analyzing a possible entry into the North American market," said Griffiths. He added that the Cupra brand is testing the waters with potential clients and thinks American customers will love its products.
"I have to say, the first results back from these tests are very promising and positive," said Griffiths.
This isn't the first time Cupra has expressed interest in the North American market. Following an introduction to the Australian market, Griffiths said at the time that no decision had been made. Still, the influence of the American automotive market was clearly too alluring to ignore.
Once the performance division of Seat, Cupra has blossomed into a strong brand in its own right and enjoys great popularity in Europe and South America. Griffiths says Cupra has proved so desirable with customers that it ranked only behind Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and BMW in a recent survey analyzing trendy automotive brands.
Over the last few years, Cupra has unveiled several gorgeous concepts that would certainly appeal to customers. The Terramar SUV, which will arrive in 2024, is an aggressively-styled SUV that would appeal to crossover-crazed consumers in the USA.
Slated to replace the long-in-the-tooth Cupra Ateca, the newcomer will be built in Hungary alongside the Audi Q3 and will be made available with traditional ICE engines or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) setups. Another model of interest would be the Tavascan, a slick-looking electric coupe SUV that could take the fight to the Tesla Model Y.
Griffiths has previously expressed admiration for Musk's automaker. "It's been one of the first movers in electrification, and therefore, it is a successful electric brand. We have respect for Tesla. They've made a huge step, and they've been part of helping accelerate the acceptance and adoption of electric cars," said Griffiths.
Tesla won't be happy to share its substantial market share, though. When VinFast entered the American market with more affordable EVs, Tesla responded by slashing prices, placing the Vietnamese brand in a tricky spot. Hopefully, Cupra won't have a similar issue - especially if the delightful Cupra el-Born electric hatchback makes its way stateside.
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