The Tavascan is called to be one of the cornerstones of Cupra’s strategy. Its arrival is still a long way off, but Volkswagen has already confirmed where it will be manufactured, and it is not exactly in Europe.
What seemed like an open secret is confirmed. The Volkswagen Group aspires to conquer the electric market with a wide range of different models, sizes, and brands. The CUPRA Tavascan is destined to be one of the most popular in its family and to get the most out of it, it is essential to choose where to make it well. Even though CUPRA already manufactures electric cars in Europe, the CUPRA Tavascan will be born far beyond the borders of the European Union. It will be the Chinese who manufacture it at the conglomerate plant in Anhui, a decision that has not gone down very well with the old continent.
Europe has iron targets when it comes to emissions. The decarbonization agenda indicates that in 2035 the sale of combustion cars that emit harmful particles into the atmosphere will come to an end. In these 13 years that remain to reach the critical moment, the park must be almost completely renovated, and for that many cars are needed. A large part of those cars will be built within the limits of the European zone, but many others will be imported from far away countries. A strategy that has not convinced everyone.
The European automobile industry is bleeding to death. The plants lose assets and what in its day was one of the economic engines of the continent, languishes due to commercial and political decisions that are difficult to justify. China has gained a lot of weight. Many manufacturers see the eastern country as a perfect location to derive production. The relocation of factories and the new land use regulations have made China look attractive due to cheap labor and a production rate that would be practically impossible to achieve in Europe.
The Volkswagen Group hopes that the CUPRA Tavascan will become one of its most popular electric cars, and for that, it will need a constant supply in Europe and other markets that it hopes to conquer, such as China. The first cousin of the Volkswagen ID.4 will use the same version of the MEB platform. This means that it will also share its drive system and battery, although in the case of the Spanish model it will offer a radically different point of view, more attractive and risky. Presumably, its price will also be similar.
We are still far from its arrival at dealerships. CUPRA expects it to be on sale sometime in 2024. Its testing phase is taking its first steps, so as the months go by we will see new camouflaged mules circulate in different environments. However, many hoped that the Tavascan, like the ID.4, would be produced at the Zwickau plant, but it will not. At no time will the Spanish model be assembled in Europe, which makes Volkswagen join the increasingly extensive list of brands that export models made exclusively in China.
BMW, Tesla, and Renault are some of the best-known cases, but there are more like the Polestar 2, for example. A recent study indicated that Europe will import nearly a million electric cars made in China by 2025. Even though this strategy supposes important financial support for the brands, it implies serious problems for the productive fabric of the old continent. More and more manufacturers look favorably on Asian production, currently, one in five electric cars already drifts from China.