VW Group News Round-Up

It’s been a really long time since we did any sort of VW Group news round-up.  The last time we did one (for Skoda), Trump was president, we were still formally part of the EU, and no one except a biologist had heard of a coronavirus, Blimey! So, in this two-part post, we’re going on a quick tour of our favourite global car-manufacturing giant and discovering what’s new.

SEAT

Like almost every motor manufacturer, SEAT’s sales in the UK are fairly dismal at the moment. The industry has been rocked by semiconductor shortages, supply chain issues, the aftershocks of the pandemic and more. In the UK,  SEAT’s September sales are down by a walloping 30.2% compared to last year. However, for comparison, Ford are down by 61%. More importantly, over the whole of the year, SEAT’s share of the market is holding steady.

The brand’s more positive news is that the SEAT Leon won the AUTOBEST award for ‘Best Buy Car of Europe 2021.’ The award carries some weight as the jury is made up of 32 high-profile motoring journalists from across Europe. We’ve added the video simply because SEAT boss Wayne Griffith received the AUTOBEST MANBEST award on behalf of Dr Herbert Diess (see 0:23). What is a MANBEST award, and can we have one?

In other news, we’ve been spotting quite a few TV adverts for former SEAT performance brand, Cupra. With no connection with SEAT in sight, it’s apparent that the brand is intent on forging its own identity. Autocar confirm that this will be a continuing trend, at least in the UK. For example, the Cupra Formentor was not offered with a SEAT-branded equivalent, and neither will the forthcoming Cupra Born or Tavascan. According to SEAT and Cupra UK boss, Richard Harrison. the fledgling Cupra brand is doing rather well, and keeping it separate from SEAT helps cement its position as a higher-end brand (with a correspondingly higher-end price).

Oh, and SEAT have launched a sustainable megatruck. This may not be the linchpin of SEAT’s global operations, but to be honest we’re just excited by anything called a megatruck. It’s a beast — good luck overtaking it on a single carriageway.

Imagine reversing this monster! Photo courtesy SEAT

Audi

In the last month or so, Audi sales in the UK have been hit by the same issues mentioned above for SEAT. But stepping back a bit, VW Group’s top-end brand has been doing rather well for itself. Over the first half of 2021:

  • Sales revenue was up  43% (29.2 billion euros vs 20.5 billion in 2020).
  • Operating profit was back in the black at 3.1 billion.
  • Return on sales was 10.7% (compared to minus 3.7% last year).

According to VW Group, that last figure has helped to drive a record 2021 performance for the VW Group as a whole.

In terms of new models, we reckon that the 2021 Audi RS e-tron GT is simply breathtaking. That’s both from an aesthetic point of view and in terms of performance (637bhp; 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds). If you have a spare £110k kicking around, you should probably order one right now, and then take us out in it.

Alternatively, for just under half the money ((£50K -£51K), you could go for Audi’s 2021 RS3. Proof that Audi hasn’t quite given up on the internal combustion engine, the 5 cylinder block provides an epic 396 bhp.  That’s sufficient to reach 0-62mph in a frankly doolally 3.8 seconds. And goodness, we’re so old that we can remember when a hot hatch could just about manage double that.

Next time, we’ll conclude this post by taking a look at what’s new for Volkswagen and Skoda. See you soon!

The Welsh VW Specialist blog covers a wide range of automotive topics, from the contentious to the light-hearted. We are an independent garage specialising (as the name suggests!) in the VW group marques, including Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda and SEAT. Welsh VW Specialists provide services, repairs and MOTs, delivering a main dealer level of care at affordable prices. To book your vehicle in, or for any enquiries, get in touch.