Sunday, October 24

“Spain has the capacities and the interest to lead the mobility of the future”


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Spain has a “historic opportunity” to “lead the mobility of the future.” This has been defended by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, during the delivery of the ABC Award for Best Car of the Year. An award that in its edition of 2021, number 49, has gone to the Seat León, and that in the words of the minister herself “have become one of the most prestigious awards in our country.”

The minister has valued the «Commitment» of «the entire Spanish automotive ecosystem, as shown by the important announcements that we have been hearing (such as Seat’s intention to manufacture 500,000 electric vehicles a year in Martorell, Renault’s award of five hybrid models to its Spanish plants or the assignment of a new Ford hybrid engine to its plant de Almusafes) “, which in his opinion” are a sign that we have industrial capacities and the interest of companies in investing in our country in the mobility of the future. “

In his speech, Maroto stressed that the automobile sector “is a priority and is going to be the protagonist of the recovery plan with investments that can mobilize more than 10,000 million euros to turn Spain into a European Electromobility Hub ». In this sense, he stressed that “it is no coincidence” that the first Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) emanating from European funds is focused on the automotive sector. “A project based on public-private collaboration and focused on strengthening value chains to increase our industrial sovereignty to which I invite you to participate.”

With these words, he extended his hand to the rest of the car manufacturers with a presence in Spain, in addition to Seat-Volkswagen, which had already announced its participation at the first moment together with Iberdrola, Gestamp and 13 other companies. The project includes the installation of a battery factory, but also the assembly of the cathodes, cells and the ‘battery pack’ -the cage that houses and protects all the components-, the platforms that house the mechanics and the final production of electric vehicles, among other aspects.

José Ramón Ladra
José Ramón Ladra

Minister Maroto also took advantage of her speech to stress the need to stimulate demand. “For this we have approved the Moves III Plan with an endowment of 400 million euros, expandable up to 800 million, to stimulate the purchase of more efficient vehicles and the recharging infrastructure.” A reactivation of demand to which, he said, “will also contribute to the control of the pandemic that is allowing vaccination, and which is key to resuming mobility, which encourages the purchase of vehicles.”

There were also words to highlight the merits of the award-winning Seat León, “which has always been one of the pillars of the Seat range, with sales of more than 2.3 million vehicles “, and reviewed” its value for money, safety, connectivity it offers, its attractive design and its respect for the environment. “

The Seat León managed, according to the count carried out in March, to beat eleven rivals after adding the results of the votes of subscribers, ABC readers and professional jury. The compact achieved 15.87% of the combined vote, followed by the Renault Captur, which reached second place, with 12.16%. Third place went to the Volvo XC 40 Recharge, with 10.34% of the votes received.

[
Los doce finalistas del Premio ABC Mejor Coche del Año 2021].

Historic double

The model, manufactured in Spain, at the Catalan Martorell plant, is the first car in almost half a century of history that repeats itself, after having been considered worthy of the award also in the 2014 edition. In its assessment, the jury has appreciated its aesthetic evolution, its technology and its wide range of engines, which includes gasoline or diesel mechanicals but also plug-in hybrids, micro-hybrids or natural gas.

The ABC Best Car of the Year Award thus concludes its edition number 49, after almost half a century recognizing the merits of models that, in many cases, marked an era. Since 1973 it has fallen to fifty vehicles -1994 had two winners, after a tie in votes between Renault Twingo and Citroën Xantia- and the roster of past winners is a glimpse not only of fashions and technical evolution but of history itself of the car.

Half a century of travel

Vote counting in 1996
Vote counting in 1996

The R5 that -with a cost of just 132,500 pesetas, 796 euros to the change without adjusting for inflation- inaugurated the podium have been followed by icons such as the Seat 131, the Ford Fiesta or the Cinquecento, paradigms of practicality such as the Peugeot 1007 in 2006 or , already in the last stage, SUVs or SUVs such as the Hyundai ix35 or the Kona, in 2011 and 2019.

In recent years the award has sought incorporate the criteria of the general public to that of the professional jury. In this edition, the vote is the result of combining the assessment of 36 specialized journalists from various media -whose judgment accounts for 75% of the score- with the vote of ABC readers -they count 5% – and that of subscribers – 20% of the total-, who can vote through a dedicated website. The counting of the three parts is carried out by an independent hand, the notary Miguel Mestanza [
Consulta al detalle el resultado de la votación].

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