- Title: VW's SEAT plans 5 billion euros in investments in 2020-2025
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: MARTORELL, SPAIN (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKERS SETTING UP FRONT PART OF CARS
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 15:58
- Keywords: 5 billion euros in investments Barcelona Martorell Seat Spanish government carmarker Volkswagen electic cars interim chairman Casten Isensee
- Location: BARCELONA & MARTORELL, SPAIN
- City: BARCELONA & MARTORELL, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA009CLY9K5J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Volkswagen's Spanish brand SEAT said on Wednesday (July 8) it plans a 5 billion euro investments in 2020-2025, mainly in new R&D, equipment and electric cars, after investing 3.3 billion in 2016-2020.
SEAT's interim chairman Carsten Isensee told Reuters that Spain needs to follow other European countries in giving more incentives for electric cars and said they are prepared to build electric cars in Spain - if the government does more to help.
Carmakers are ramping up production of battery-powered vehicles to try to meet tough European emissions regulations, but the hefty costs involved have come just as demand for cars has been hammered by the coronavirus crisis.
Several governments have launched aid packages for the sector, often including incentives to buy electric cars.
"Countries like Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and France are much more sophisticated in the willingness to prepare their countries in line with the Paris Agreement to substantially reduce the CO2 footprint," Isensee told Reuters.
Spain's Socialist-led government announced on June 15 a 3.7 billion euro aid package for the auto industry. It included a 250 million euro scheme to encourage drivers to trade in older cars for new low-emission and electric vehicles.
Isensee said the help was a "step in the right direction," but insufficient. He said there was practically no electric charging network and more incentives were needed as the average Spanish car is 13 years old, signalling weak purchasing power.
He said a public-private collaboration was needed to have more electric vehicles in the next three years, including companies such as wind power producer Iberdrola.
SEAT's new investment plan compares with the 3.3 billion euros it spent in 2016-2020. It includes new electric vehicles after the first one launched last year.
While 2020 production would be well down on 2019 due to factory closures during the coronavirus lockdown, there were no plans to reduce the workforce, he said.
After record sales in 2019, SEAT had a turbulent start to the year as Luca de Meo stepped down as chairman in January, later becoming Renault's chief executive.
(Production: Albert Gea, Miguel Gutierrez)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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