Things are looking up for SEAT! The beleaguered Spanish brand has posted encouraging sales figures for the first two months of 2011, and things are set to expand further as the firm prepares to launch four brand new cars in 2012.
The firm has already confirmed that it shifted 51,048 cars in January and February, which is up 1.3 per cent, while its sales have risen 11.9 per cent outside of its Spanish home market.
Still, SEAT lost €311million in 2010, which is one of the reasons that parent firm VW shifted production of Audi’s new Q3 SUV to SEAT’s factory in Martorell, near Barcelona, to make use of its ample spare capacity of 500,000 cars per year.
But SEAT’s Welsh boss James Muir is confident that the firm’s upward trend will continue. Speaking to top trade publication Automotive News Europe, he confirmed that 2012 will see SEAT launch four new cars:
"We will launch four new cars: the new Leon, a totally new entry-level model, a four-door sedan and a major Ibiza facelift."
That means more jobs too, with SEAT and the Catalan government ensuring that 1,200 new posts are created, both to build the new Audi model and SEAT’s new cars.
As well as its new models, SEAT is looking East, and will exhibit at next month’s Shanghai Auto Show ahead of launching the brand in China in 2012.
It’s likely that the new sedan Muir talks of is aimed at the Chinese market, along with VW’s new Jetta and Audi’s new A3 saloon, while the brand also hopes to sell high-spec Ibiza and Leon Cupra models in China too.
The entry-level model will effectively be the successor to the Arosa, and will be SEAT’s version of the VW Up.
Thanks to Audi’s investment in Martorell, SEAT will also add a production version of the IBX crossover in 2013, which is the year that the firm hopes to return to profit, taking its range to seven models.