In November, we reported on the UK launch of the 9kW Seat Mo eScooter 125 – the Spanish car manufacturer’s first electric moped. The firm has also started producing two e-scooters – the Mo 25 and the Mo 65 – and says two-wheelers will become an increasingly significant element in its retail strategy.
The average age of Seat consumers is around 10 years younger than the industry average and the firm has been open-minded when looking into the transport needs of that customer base.
It believes that cars are no longer seen as essential and says that fewer young people are getting a driving licence.
“Because of the financial crisis in 2008, people’s salaries have remained stable but cars are more expensive,” Seat Mo director Lucas Casanovas told Autocar.
“Young people especially are less willing to spend money on a car and prioritise other things like their home and other commodities.
“Then we found that in some countries, the number of people getting a driving licence has dropped 40% or 50%, depending on the country. If young people don't have a driving licence, then of course they will not buy a car.
“Based on that, we said to ourselves: ‘The young generations need to move from A to B, but if they don't buy cars, what are they doing to move?’
“We saw this increasing use of kick-scooters, motorcycles and other mobility services like Uber, for example. So we said: 'If we don't provide these new mobility solutions to the younger generations, they will go somewhere else'.”
Privately-owned e-scooters are still illegal on UK roads and Casanovas joined Halfords in calling for them to be legalised.
“I think the UK is almost the only country in Europe which doesn't allow e-scooters on the street,” he said. “But the point is that young people need to move from A to B.
“The law should be changed. This is something that here we can try to influence a little bit, but of course we aren't the lawmakers. I think e-scooters with proper legislation are a very good means of transport.”
In other countries, the new Seat Mo range is resulting in a broader subscription service where customers are able to get a selection of vehicles for one monthly fee.
For example, in France, for €250 per month, you can get a Seat Ibiza, the Seat Mo electric moped and one of the e-scooters as a package.
“Our idea is that for the weekend you need the car, but to go to the gym, you may need only the motorcycle, and then for your kids to go to school just the e-scooter,” explained Casanovas.
“We're merging products and services because we have to be prepared to offer the maximum flexibility to our customers.”