Monday, 11 november 2019 | Redacción CEU
Carmakers are aware of the fact that the future of their industry is necessarily electric, intelligent and sustainable. To this end, urban mobility must face a radical transformation. As a consequence of this reinvention process, cars may end up losing their hegemony against other means and models of transport in the cities. In light of this situation, car firms are being forced to find new business formulas that make them fit into this new concept of the world on wheels. Firms like Seat are opening up a new way, and this is reflected in their new strategies. The new objective of the Martorell brand is clear: becoming Volkswagen's leading subsidiary on urban micromobility. One of its latest ideas to achieve this is to bet on motorcycles.
Seat recently made public the collaboration agreement reached with Silence, which is an urban mobility company located in Molins de Rei (Barcelona). This alliance aims to market the motorcycles of the firm, which are 100% electric. Now, the automotive company goes one step further and announces that in 2020 it will launch its first electric motorcycle model under its own brand name. In particular, its idea is a sustainable vehicle with the same power and performance as a gasoline motorcycle of 125 cubic centimeters. Given these technical features, it is expected that this motorcycle will be driven by people who have both A1 and B licenses (provided that these last-mentioned drivers have at least three years of experience).
The Martorell firm will show its new model on November 19 at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. This is the reason why we barely know any details about the motorcycle that Seat will develop together with Silence. We could only see a rendered image of the rear of the vehicle. Regarding it, an article published by Motorpasión points out that this new vehicle may be inspired by the technical features of the Silence S01 model. In this case, this vehicle probably boasts a motor integrated in the rear wheel with a nominal power of 7 kW and peaks of 11kw and has a removable lithium-ion battery with 5.5 kWh capacity.
What Seat does show with this announcement is that, as the company said in the last Mobile World Congress edition, it has the firm intention of positioning itself as the spearhead of Volkswagen Group's micromobility. Within this strategy, we can find proposals such as that of Seat Minimó. This is a small vehicle of 2.5 meters in length and 1.24 meters in width, with an electric motor with a swap battery system and a range of 100 kilometers. This kind of hybrid between car and motorcycle has taken into account in its design the adaptation to mobility platforms that may mark the future of circulation in cities.
The automotive company trusts the growing interest of Spaniards in new models like carsharing, which is why it entered this sector hand in hand with a firm with experience in the field. In 2018, Seat acquired the company Respiro, which is a shared car operator that has offered this type of services in Madrid since 2010. This action served as a first incursion of the company into this mobility segment. The firm is still working on carsharing proposals. For example, on April of this year, the Volkswagen subsidiary opened the business to authorized dealers. Until then, users could only access Respiro’s vehicles from car parks spread across the cities using their carsharing platform.
Seat's interest in the development of intelligent mobility is evident. Proof of this is the creation in 2018 of Xmoba, which is an independent company aimed at testing and developing digital services of this type. This new firm is behind the management of Respiro and other applications. One of them is Justmoove, which is an integrated payment platform that offers different services focused on the use of cars, such as the location of nearby gas stations or park cars and toll payment.
Because of its practicality and simplicity, scooters are one of the vehicles that are taking more and more prominence in the cities. Despite being a modest means of transport, the firms that want to be leaders in new mobility should not underestimate this rising segment. Seat has not done so. Its eXS KickScooter powered by Segway is an electric scooter with compact measures (the vehicle fits easily in the trunk of a car), which integrates its battery into the steering column. This vehicle has a range of 25 kilometers in its standard version. It can be extended to 45 kilometers by adding an extra battery.
A few weeks ago, some media outlets published some news stating that Seat may end up paradoxically becoming integrated under the Cupra brand, with the consequent loss of its name. The objective of this action would be repositioning the brand, especially in foreign markets. Although the company's course might change at any time, in the short term, the firm seems to have a very clear goal: trying to win over the inhabitants of the big cities with new mobility proposals.
The automotive industry is one of the sectors that most bets on innovation. This means that the brands and professionals who work for it must know how to constantly reinvent themselves and be prepared to face successfully the many challenges they will find in this complex process. The CEU IAM Business School offers two programs aimed at helping to make this difficult task easier: an Automotive Sector MDP and a Master´s Degree in the Automotive Industry Businesses. Ask for further information with absolutely no obligation on your part!