Prices for Cupra, lineup confirmed

New Spanish carmaker Cupra says it’s time for an unconventional brand in the local market.

The manufacturer’s global boss, Wayne Griffiths, says Cupra has a “new generation of car enthusiasts” in sight and hopes to bypass existing brand loyalty in the process.

“Now is the right time… to launch a new brand,” Griffiths says of the automotive market, which is undergoing unprecedented upheaval with new brands and technologies, including electrification.

“There is a generation of consumers who are looking for other brands than their parents and grandparents.”

He says the Cupra campaign goes beyond mere transportation.

“We want to create emotional, sexy cars that are fun to drive in an electrified world,” he says.

The brand states that its DNA is “always electrified and electrified in the long run.”

By 2030, the company plans to sell only electric vehicles.

The design-and-performance-focused manufacturer is launching three models – Ateca, Leon and Formentor. Two of them will be available as plug-in hybrids, which the company says will help move to all-electric vehicles.

As with Tesla, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, the vehicles will be sold at a fixed price both online and through agents. Prices start at $54,990.

Early next year, the Cupra will surpass parent Volkswagen in the local market with an electric vehicle in the shape of the Born, a rear-wheel drive hatchback with an “e-boost” mode for extra performance. It is expected to cost around $60,000, bringing down the cost of the best-selling Tesla Model 3 and qualifying for discounts across much of the country.

On the subject of rebates, Griffiths urged the federal government to introduce national incentives for electric vehicle buyers.

He says state and territory initiatives, such as the ACT’s proposed 2035 gas car ban, will accelerate the spread of electric vehicles, but a unified national strategy is essential.

“Obviously regional initiatives are good, but at some point you need clear national initiatives for consumers who know it’s smart to buy an electric car,” says Griffiths.

“When you see what’s going on with a clear plan for [recharging] infrastructure, it can be seen that the electric segment of the market is growing very rapidly within two to three years and actually receives from 5% to 20% [share]. ”

Cupra plans to play on its Spanish heritage – the cars’ copper highlights evoke the Barcelona morning sun – and aim to carve a niche between major players like Mazda and Toyota and luxury brands like BMW and Audi.

“We want to be above the mass segment, and not far away, so 5% [prices] … But not in the premium segment,” says Griffiths.

Cupra plans to sell around 1,600 vehicles in its first year of existence and increase sales to 7,000 vehicles in a couple of years.

With the arrival of Born and the upcoming UrbanRebel and Tavascan electric models due out by 2025, Griffiths said the company “hopes to gain a corresponding market share of about 5 percent of the electric vehicle market.”

“We need to be relevant, otherwise we are just a niche player. We don’t want to be like that.”

Originally published as Launch of the Cupra brand with a focus on electric vehicles