Automotive News Europe — 2022-11-03
The chief of Volkswagen Group's Spanish unit Seat Wayne Griffiths said the subsidies offered by Spanish authorities for a battery factory construction and electric vehicle production "is not sufficient," but voiced optimism about finding a solution.
Speaking at a panel in Madrid, Griffiths said the solution, which he did not specify, has to be found within 10 days.
VW said last week it expected more in subsidies from Madrid and was evaluating the next steps after it received €397.4m of the €877.2m total in the first phase of the government-run program, known as PERTE.
VW plans to build a new range of battery-electric small cars for its VW, Skoda and Cupra brands in Spain and open a battery plant near Valencia.
Seat was the brand that received the largest allocation.
Spain is Europe's second-largest car producing nation behind Germany and is planning to use European Union pandemic relief funds - which make up a significant portion of the PERTE money - to strengthen its industry.
The Seat-led project, in which 60 other VW-linked companies also take part, foresees an investment of €10bn to electrify Spain's auto industry and turn the country into a European hub for EV and battery production.
The first round of subsidies will be followed by a new phase, in which another over €2bn will be disbursed, to provide continued support the sector needs to successfully tackle electrification, the government has said.
"Spain is capable of making one of the best cars in the world," Griffiths said, highlighting the country's renewable energy capacity. However, he lamented the fact that the country had also one of the lowest shares of EVs in Europe.
"It's a shame," Griffiths said, adding that Spain needed to react quickly to avoid staying behind.