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Cupra Analyzing U.S. Entry As It Plans To Expand Global Presence

Volkswagen Group's Cupra, a fairly new, performance-focused spin-off from Spanish brand SEAT, is aiming for more prescence across the globe. As the European firm sets its eyes on being a Top 100 Best Global brand by the year 2030, one of its key goals to achieve that objective is global expansion–and that includes North America.

Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths told Autocar that they are "currently testing the brand" for the North American market, and the company seems confident about the move so far. "We think Americans will love Cupra's design and performance," said Griffiths.

However, don't expect to see the brand's current offerings appear on U.S. roads, as much as we would love to see something like the Leon hatchback come over here. Instead, Cupra will focus on larger models, crossovers to be more specific, and they will all be electric. "[Cupra] will not be looking to go to America with combustion cars," Griffiths confirmed. Meanwhile in Europe, Cupra is already working towards an EV-only future, with the Terramar crossover set to be the company's final ICE-powered model when it is released in 2024.

The Cupra Born is the brand's first EV, based on the Volkswagen ID.3.

So, when should we expect to see something with the Cupra badge in North America, if at all? Griffiths didn't dive into specifics, but he did say that will all depend on when the brand goes all-electric. That would be around 2030, according to Cupra's boss.

But what's taking Cupra so long? Why can't the brand simply bring all of its current offerings stateside and call it a day? “You need a car in the US that's fit for the US and electric," explained Griffiths. Since America is all about bigger things, Cupra's entry would require Volkswagen's upcoming SSP platform, which will support much larger vehicles when it arrives around 2026. Another reason to wait is to ensure that Cupra is successful in other markets first. After all, the automaker was only created in 2018. "I think we need to be stronger first in Europe and make sure we’ve done our homework," said Griffiths. "We [need to] have that 3-4% of market share before we start looking for new markets. So our priority will be to get Cupra up and running first in Europe." He went on to describe that the idea of coming to the U.S. is "still [in its] very early days.”

Would you like to see Cupra come to the States?


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