SEAT launched the Cupra performance sub-brand in 2018, and it ended 2022 by hitting an all-time sales high. Cupra almost saw its sales double last year, with more than 150,000 vehicles delivered. While that’s excellent news for Cupra, it wasn’t enough to offset SEAT’s overall sales decline, which ended 2022 down compared to 2021.

The Cupra Formentor, the brand’s first standalone model, accounted for the majority of Cupra sales – 63.8 percent, or 97,600 vehicles. The Cupra Born had its first full sales year in 2022 and achieved 31,400 deliveries. Since its creation, Cupra has sold close to 300,000 vehicles, with 152,900 finding homes last year, up 92.7 percent from 79,300.

Gallery: Cupra Formentor

The SEAT brand wasn’t as lucky, with the automaker prioritising building higher-margin Cupra models over its mainstream products due to supply chain shortages, which affected sales. The brand saw them fall 40.5 percent to 232,700 vehicles, with overall SEAT SA sales down 18.1 percent for the year. The automaker sold 385,600 cars in 2022 between the two brands compared to 470,500 in 2021.

The SEAT Arona maintained its position as the brand’s best-selling model, although sales declined 33.5 percent to 71,000 units. The brand sold 51,300 Ibizas, down 46.4 percent, and 41,500 Leons, down 47.3 percent.

“2022 was an unpredictable year, but we certainly made the best out of it,” said Wayne Griffiths, CEO of SEAT and Cupra, adding, “Cupra continued to exceed expectations and cemented its position as Europe’s fastest-growing automotive brand.”

Cupra’s largest market last year was Germany, selling 58,400 vehicles in the country, up 89.9 percent. Spain led SEAT’s sales, with 49,200 cars sold, down 30.4 percent.

While SEAT’s sales were down, the company’s global production rate remained nearly unchanged. The automaker built 478,954 vehicles in 2022, including the Audi A1. That’s down 1.1 percent from the 484,046 cars it made in 2021.

This year will see Cupra launch its first all-electric SUV, the Tavascan, but it’s just a sliver of the updates coming to the brand. The sub-brand will also increase its global network in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris.

“Demand for both SEAT and Cupra remains very high, with a record order bank for both,” said Kai Vogler, SEAT SA’s executive vice president for sales and marketing.