SEAT presented its electric strategy today which, until the beginning of 2021, will include six electric and plug-in hybrid models. The electric version of the Mii and el-Born will be the brand’s first two fully electric models, while the new generation Leon and the Tarraco will feature a plug-in hybrid version. Furthermore, the CUPRA Leon and the CUPRA Formentor will also have a plug-in hybrid variant. SEAT President Luca de Meo also announced today at the company’s annual media conference that the CUPRA Formentor, the new CUV that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, will be built at the Martorell factory.
For the first time in the history of the company, SEAT will develop a new vehicle platform in collaboration with the Volkswagen brand, a smaller version of the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) on which multiple vehicles of the size of around four metres in length by different brands, SEAT among them, will be made. The goal of the new platform is to develop affordable electric vehicles, with an entry level price below 20,000 euros. More than 300 highly skilled engineers will be participating in this project in Spain.
During the presentation of the results held at SEAT’s corporate headquarters in Martorell, company CEO Luca de Meostated that “SEAT now has a clearer role in the Volkswagen Group, and thanks to the results obtained, we have earned the new electric vehicle platform.” “For the first time, the SEAT Technical Centre will be developing a platform that may be used by more brands around the globe,” added de Meo.
Volkswagen AG CEO Dr. Herbert Diess attended the presentation and emphasised SEAT’s role within the Volkswagen Group: “SEAT is playing a new role within the Volkswagen Group taking on even more responsibility. This year’s achievements underline SEAT’s potential to make use of growth opportunities and open new markets.” Dr. Diess added that “The small electric platform project is a great step towards an even more affordable electric mobility. SEAT will realize the first electric vehicle that is especially designed for urban journeys.”
The electric offensive reaches further than new models and also encompasses a micromobility strategy which, as announced by the CEO of SEAT during the Mobile World Congress, the company is going to lead for the Volkswagen Group. The recently unveiled Minimó concept car plays a part in this strategy and the electric SEAT eXS kickscooter are two examples of urban micromobility solutions put forward by the company.
2018, the best year in the history of SEAT
In 2018 SEAT obtained the best results in its history. Profit after tax went up to 294 million euros, 4.6% more than the previous year (281). Moreover, operating profit grew by 93.2% to stand at 223 million euros (2017: 116) and turnover amounted to 9.991 billion euros, which is 4.6% higher than the 2017 result (9.552). All amounts set new historic records. In the past five years, SEAT’s turnover has grown by 33%.
In addition, deliveries increased to the highest level in SEAT’s nearly seven decades of existence, and the figure of 517,600 vehicles sold (10.5% more than in 2017), made SEAT the fastest growing brand in Europe last year. Boosted by the Ateca and the Arona, selling models with a greater contribution margin helped the improvement of SEAT’s profit results. In its first year as an independent brand, CUPRA was instrumental in increasing the company’s bottom line after sales went up by 40% to reach 14,400 units.
According to Luca de Meo, “2018 was the best year in the history of SEAT. For the first time we have good products in the relevant and most profitable segments, which has led us to become one of the fastest growing brands in Europein the past three years. The SUV offensive we began in 2016 exceeded our most optimistic expectations and one out of every three cars sold last year entered in this category. SEAT can now look the future straight in the eyes.”
The sound progress of the business enabled SEAT to accelerate its investment programme. In 2018 alone, the company allocated 1,223 million euros, 27.1% more (2017: 962) to investments and R&D expenses, the highest figure in its history. Of this volume, 656 million euros was earmarked exclusively to R&D, which is 41.4% more than the previous year (2017:464).
Vice-president for Finance, IT and Organisation Holger Kintscher pointed out that, “As SEAT stands today, it is a financially sound, sustainable company. We have a thorough cost-efficiency programme and the resources to face the technological transformation of the automotive industry. We need that to stay profitable in the future.”
In 2018, SEAT exported 80% of its production output and consolidated itself as Spain’s largest industrial exporter, with close to 3% of the country’s total export figure. The goal for forthcoming years is to step up the company’s globalisation. In this sense, it is rolling out an ambitious growth strategy in North Africa, where it will lead the Volkswagen Group’s vehicle assembly project in Algeria and aims to increase its presence in the region in the medium term. Latin America is another potential territory for the brand to expand in, and there are plans to begin operations in Chile in the second half of 2019 and strengthen its presence in Colombia. In China, SEAT is a part of the JAC Volkswagen joint venture and preparations are being made for its entry in the world’s largest car market.
Penta Security and R3 Announce Strategic Partnership for Digital Asset Management and MPC Technology
Penta Security and blockchain software firm R3 today announced that they have entered into a global strategic partnership for digital asset management and MPC (Multi-Party Computation) technology, combining Penta Security’s technologies and R3’s extensive enterprise blockchain platform, Corda.
With technology and services playing a critical role in digital asset payment and management aspects, the demand for a safer digital asset and private key management solution is dramatically increasing. The partnership brings together deep skills in MPC, blockchain key management solutions, technology development, and deployment in the finance sector via R3’s enterprise blockchain platform Corda.
As a result, Penta Security is devoted to expanding in the finance industry with its MPC technology which is based on the secret-sharing algorithm, and PALLET, an advanced key management solution for blockchain. Both parties will be heading to achieve goals through various new projects by forming a software enterprise firm, in addition to deploying Penta Security’s MPC technology on R3’s major projects.
Dr. Sim, Chief Technology Officer at Penta Security, said: “There’s no doubt that the private key to successful blockchain deployment is the most important asset. We believe Penta Security’s MPC and digital asset management technology can provide an ideal key protection solution for both blockchain and digital asset key protection. By diversifying our offerings through strategic partnerships, we’re excited to be devoting our expertise in the evolving blockchain scene.”
Cathy Minter, Chief Revenue Officer at R3, said: “The creation of a new market, powered by digital assets, is one of the most exciting promises of blockchain technology. Coupling our Corda platform with Penta Security’s MPC technology will be one step closer to addressing the industry demand for secure digital asset management. We are proud to be partnering with Penta Security to deliver an industry-leading solution and look forward to them achieving continued success in the future.”
SOURCE Penta Security Systems
FiO Fixes Wine, Gaming and Fitness Industry Pain Points
Innovative SaaS platform FiO is expected to release details on how its blockchain-onboarding service solves long-existing problems in wine provenance, online gaming and fitness tracking next week.
FiO merges the latest blockchain technology and GPG encryption with existing ledger software to create easy-to-use decentralized solutions for conventional businesses.
The company’s FiO software boasts a conventional form factor and simple templates to create a painless experience for non-technical users. Only 3 simple onboarding steps are required: user registration, service selection and finally, a connection to their API.
FiO’s “plug & play” technology aims to fix inherent issues that have long plagued traditional industries. For example, with counterfeit wines a multi-billion dollar problem, FiO enables a reliable and immutable traceability platform for wine products as they make their way from the vineyard to the consumer.
Through FiO’s simple blockchain tool, users can create a robust decentralized ledger and shareable digital certification pertaining to a wine’s appellation, winemaker, vintage year and shipping and storage. This enhanced ability to record the production, obtaining and selling of wine should foster greater trust between producers, distributors, resellers and collectors.
In recent years the fitness industry has seen a boom in wearable, biometric devices that track the end-user’s fitness regime and health vitals. FiO allows fitness gyms to integrate AI-enhanced features without compromising customer privacy. Gym users can consolidate their health and fitness training data from wearables, equipment and even medical service providers in one location, import token economy items and connect with social fitness influencers and networks.
The gaming industry, currently worth $150 billion per year, is predicted to double in value by 2022, with an increasing demand for B2B game development solutions that build and manage in-game item economies.
Until now, players could only trade and sell their virtual items directly or on third-party websites, with little protection against fraud, hacking and theft.
With FiO, game developers can now facilitate the easy and secure transfer of in-game items and rewards between players through their existing wallets. This increased functionality and fungibility of gaming rewards through blockchain will likely attract new players to the industry.
FiO made it clear that its platform is highly flexible and its benefits can be applied to nearly any conventional businesses. The company, currently in its final fundraising round, welcomes interested parties to get in touch.
Crypto Earn: Now Earn 8% p.a. on EOS Deposits
Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, announced today that it has added EOS to Crypto Earn, allowing users to enjoy up to 8% p.a. on their deposits.
In addition to having EOS available in Crypto Earn, deposit and withdrawal of EOS is also enabled on the Crypto.com App.
EOS.IO is a free, open-source blockchain software protocol that provides developers and entrepreneurs with a platform on which to build, deploy and run high-performing blockchain applications. It is currently supporting over 260 projects.
Crypto Earn now supports 16 coins including BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BNB, TUSD, PAX, USDC, MCO, BAT, LINK, CRO, MKR, DAI, PAXG with the addition of EOS. Interest is paid out weekly in the coin deposited with flexible, 1-month or 3-month terms available. Users earn more by staking at least 500 MCO.
Note: For the U.S. users, both deposit and withdrawal of EOS and Crypto Earn deposit in EOS are initially available in 38 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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