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Industry

Christopher Bruce2013-10-18 17:32:10

Seat Expanding Into Mexico, China and Russia to Turnaround Company

It is also working on new models and model variants

 
 
Slideshow
Seat sales have been increasing but it is not yet profitable

SeatSeatSeatSpain, 1950 > present29 models
2364 photos
4 videos
is VolkswagenVolkswagenVolkswagenGermany, 1938 > present98 models
9787 photos
31 videos
Group’s fourth largest brand in terms of sales this year. It has sold 266,100 cars from January to September, an 11.7% improvement over last year. It is even doing well in Europe this year with 218,100 cars sold, up 9.6%. The downside is that the brand has negative €134 million in operating income at the end of fiscal year 2012. Growing sales do not matter, if you cannot be profitable.

To turn this around, the company is trying to expand outside of Europe into auto markets with growing demand. In the past few years, the company has grown into Mexico, China and Russia and is doing well there.

Since going on sale there in 2010, Seat has become one of the 10 bestselling brands in Mexico and has grown 60% in the last two years. It sells the LeonSeat Leon Gen.3Seat Seat Leon Gen.3Spain, 2012 > present168 versions
250 photos
, IbizaIbiza Gen.4Seat Ibiza Gen.4Spain, 2008 > present336 versions
436 photos
, Altea XLAlteaSeat AlteaSpain, 2003 > present139 versions
208 photos
and ToledoToledo Gen.4Seat Toledo Gen.4Spain, 2012 > present23 versions
21 photos
there.

Seat expanded into China in 2012, and it currently only sells the Leon and Ibiza there at 15 dealerships.

Seat also has 25 dealers in Russia. It sells the AlhambraAlhambra Gen.2Seat Alhambra Gen.2Spain, 2010 > present58 versions
68 photos
1 video
, Ibiza, Altea and Leon there.

“I can’t predict when we will be back in the black, but I aim to make Seat into a solid company,” said Seat CEO Jürgen Stackmann.

“The Leon will become a core Seat model and will eventually match Ibiza sales. The five-door Leon FR is a perfect expression of Seat: dynamic without being too hard. Seat design will make the driver feel younger and more sporting, but we won’t go to extremes. We don’t want to look like some niche brand.”

Seat has two more years of introducing variants of the current Leon. The ST wagon is about to go on sale, and the Cupra will also be added later. It will also add natural gas models and later plug-in hybrids of its models. A crossover is also at least two years away. 

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