Seat boss quits chairmanship of automobile employers’ association due to government’s lack of commitment to electric cars: “They are not up to the task”

In 2017 global sales of electric cars surpassed the 1-million-unit mark

Wayne Griffiths, president of Cupra and Seat, has resigned as president of the car manufacturers’ association (ANFAC). He was already on the verge of resigning at the end of last year and stayed on because he wanted to give President Sánchez another chance. The resignation presented this Thursday was communicated to the board of directors five minutes before the meeting began. A body that has endorsed his decision. “It is the only thing I could do. When the government commits to change the subsidies for electric cars and doesn’t do it, as president of the automobile industry you can only resign,” say these sources, who recall that electric car sales represent no more than 5% of the total in Spain. And 10% if plug-in hybrid models are included.

With the aggravating factor that total car sales have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels either: car sales up to 12 June were 456,800 units, when in the same period of 2019, before the pandemic, a total of 594,000 had been registered, 23% more. So Ford has announced that the workforce at its Valencia factory is being halved from 6,700 to 3,200.

Today there are just over 200,000 electric cars in Spain, making it practically impossible to reach 5.5 million electric vehicles by 2030. A figure established in the PNIEC (National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan). And all this with an increasingly ageing fleet, already exceeding 14 years of age on average.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.