SEAT announces plans to expand into scooter market

Spanish motoring giant SEAT, owned by Volkswagen, will move into the motorcycle market for the first time an electric scooter - the SEAT eScooter

SEAT eScooter

Spanish motoring giant SEAT has announced it will be moving into the two-wheel market for the first time with the launch of a new electric scooter, the SEAT eScooter.

The company, which is better known for its four-wheel models such as the Ibiza, Leon and its recently spun-off Cupra performance brand, will present the eScooter concept to the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona on November 19.

Having been charged by parent company Volkswagen to spearhead the group’s wider targets in the burgeoning ‘micromobility’ segment, SEAT showed the SEAT Minimo concept car and SEAT eXS Kickscooter at the 2018 Smart City Expo.

Now it is setting its sights on the European scooter market with an all-electric model that will look to trade on SEAT’s strong brand identity in key markets like Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

“The constant growth of large cities makes achieving efficient mobility one of the main challenges to overcome,” SEAT president Luca de Meo stated. “Today we are taking a further step in our urban micromobility strategy by confirming the launch of the first eScooter in the history of the brand.”

Car manufacturers posed to fill electric motorcycle void?

While the recent automotive Frankfurt Motor Show was almost entirely about electric vehicles, the motorcycle equivalent at EICMA in Milan this week was remarkably quiet on that front.

Of course, there were electric two-wheelers dotted around the vast exhibition centre – many of which were scooters – there was still notable evasiveness among bigger brands about how it plans to electrify its ranges as stricter emissions laws come into force.

The lethargy in this area thus potentially creates some notable opportunities for new players to fill the void.

Indeed, while car manufacturers have traditionally avoided diversifying into motorcycles because of the importance heritage and image plays in the marketplace, the untapped electrical segment is open and waiting to be capitalised on with such constraints – it’s precisely how Tesla came in and cornered the four-wheel electric market and forced manufacturers to react.

While we are unlikely to see to anything more than a scooter from SEAT, it shows some well-known firms are looking to bring their high-profile brands to get a slice of the market before traditional marques make their move.