Griffiths said in an interview with the UK publication Autocar that if the Cupra entered the US market, it would do so only with larger, full-electric models.
“You need a car in the US that’s fit for the US and electric,” he told Autocar. “A US electric car is generally bigger, so it will be a next generation of electric cars that would be based on the SSP platform from VW.” That platform is expected some time after 2025.
Griffiths said the timing of a US market entry would be linked to Cupra’s move to an electric-only brand, which he has said will be by 2030. Cupra, as a new brand, also needs to establish itself in Europe, he added.
“The investments for making cars ready for America are considerable, and I think we need to be stronger first in Europe and make sure we’ve done our homework,” he said, adding that Cupra was seeking a European market share of 3 to 4 percent.
Cupra’s market share at the end of February was 1.2 percent, according to industry group ACEA, a 60 percent increase from 2022.
The North American market has long been coveted by sporty European brands. The Stellantis group’s Alfa Romeo brand first effort ended in 1995, but it returned to the US in 2014, first with the niche 4C coupe, then with the midsize Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. The compact Tonale SUV debuted this year, and brand CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said in January that a large full-electric vehicle will be developed by 2027 to expand in the US
Renault’s Alpine brand is also planning a US expansion starting in 2027 or 2028. CEO Laurent Rossi said in January that the US market will be crucial for Alpine’s ambitious revenue and sales goals. The brand has aspirations to sell two models in the US, a midsize full-electric SUV and a larger, similar model, starting in 2027 or 2028.