• Casa Real.The Generalitat plants the King, Pedro Sánchez and the directors of Seat in the visit to Martorell

  • Aragon.Javier Lambán shows his "discomfort" because the factory of batteries for electric cars is installed in Catalonia

  • Motor.Seat and the Volkswagen Group, ready to manufacture electric cars in Spain

Herbert Diess

, president of

the Volkswagen Group

(VW), went to Barcelona this Friday to celebrate 70 years of Seat and placed the brand at the forefront of a process that "represents a historic opportunity to transform the Spanish automotive industry", although with conditions.

"Spain has great potential to be an



. So far it has made very few investments. We plan to manufacture electric cars, batteries and more components of that value chain at Seat Mart


It is a project that we have put in the starting box together with the Government, with which we work side by side, and that will be possible with European funds

Next Generation


We must pull the strings to achieve it, since it will depend on the commitment of the EU, "he said, in a speech preceded by that of

Wayne griffiths

This one, president of


and Cupra, had already had an impact on this line: "We are going to launch a transversal project to electrify the country, but we cannot do it alone. We need the administrations and also the collaboration of other leading companies because this train cannot be lost" He said. The future survival of a Spanish automobile industry will depend on this, which, apart from being the second in Europe and the ninth in the world, represents 8.5% of GDP and 19% of exports;

It has 84% ​​of permanent contracts and invests 85% more than the national average.

Cars made in Spain

This train necessarily goes through the awarding of 100% battery-powered models, essential for manufacturers to meet the CO2 objectives in the medium and long term, and to reach complete decarbonisation by 2050. Currently, Spain has already been doing several cars with this technology:


(resulting from the merger of PSA and FCA) assembles the battery-powered variants of the Peugeot 2008, the Opel Corsa and the Citroën C4;

in addition to those based on the small vans shared by Citroën, Peugeot, Opel and Toyota.

For its part, Mercedes produces the V-Class and Vito zero emissions in Vitoria.


It would be small cars on the MEB platform (the one that already uses the VW ID.3 or will carry the Cupra Born), but reduced.

"The project for the production of the small electric vehicle of the entire VW Group in Spain is magnificent news", congratulated the King.

Philip VI

, present this Friday in Barcelona with the President of the Government,

Pedro Sanchez

, Y

Reyes Maroto

, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

In other words, apart from Martorell, the consortium should extend this activity to the Landaben plant (Navarra), which makes the VW Polo and T-Cross and will add an SUV this year


Little else is known about the project, except for the 5,000 million investment announced last summer, mostly to prepare Seat if it is assigned electricity from 2025. Until now, the Spanish company has been left out of these awards, which have fallen mostly in



Moreover, this Friday, the CEO of the Volkswagen brand,

Ralf Brandstattër

, said that it has not yet been decided where the ID.2, its smallest electric vehicle, will be made.

A battery plant

The second major leg of the transformation of the Spanish automotive industry is the production of batteries, to reduce dependence on




, especially, and to lower the price of these vehicles by cutting the logistics costs derived from the transport of batteries. From Seat they have always considered "key" to have a battery plant in our country, which would not have to manufacture "exclusively" to they.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Industry announced the launch of a public-private consortium with the Germans and


, "although open to other partners", precisely for that purpose.

Diess said that the intention is to have a battery factory in Martorell, although the facilities that Nissan will leave later this year could also serve.

He referred

to this project by ensuring that, without it, "Spain's irreversible commitment to electrification would be incomplete."

In addition, Spain can count on an added advantage if the Cáceres lithium mine goes ahead.

According to studies, it hides material to manufacture up to 10 million batteries. Felipe VI also wanted to put a cloak on the German manager when he stated that "no other sector like the automobile sector reflects the depth of the transformations that we have had to experience ... For this reason, Spain and all its institutions will be behind, giving absolute support. "

The transformation of the sector

This happens, as Griffiths pointed out, and it is a common regret on the lips of the industry, for three reasons: the deployment of recharging points - there are just under 9,000 -, demand support plans and adequate environmental taxation. one that penalizes vehicles for what they pollute when they are used and that could start by reducing VAT on battery-powered models.

According to some brands, only this last measure would triple the demand for electricity.

In 2020, 18,000 units were registered, less than 2% of total sales. Funds to face these initiatives should be left over if the Executive allocates the 10 billion of Next Generation funds that it has promised so many times for sustainable mobility.

Because of the 3.75 billion of the comprehensive plan that was announced in June 2020, 80% were to make loans more flexible.

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