Advertisement

'The minnows are rising in the VW Group with SEAT and Skoda looking stronger than ever'

The VW Group brand hierarchy could be set for a shake-up as SEAT and Skoda increasingly challenge VW and Audi for sales

SEAT Opinion

SEAT hasn’t had the best of times in the past.  As well as struggling with a lack of identity within the Volkswagen Group, massive losses led to big question marks over the brand’s future.

Chatting to SEAT’s charismatic boss Luca de Meo at the launch of the impressive new Ibiza supermini, he revealed the state of affairs the company was in. “Five years ago we were losing 400 million Euro a year,” he told me, before smiling broadly to remind me “and we’ve just announced an operating profit of  143 million Euro for 2016”. That’s quite a turnaround.

Advertisement - Article continues below

New SEAT Formentor SUV on the way

De Meo’s vision for his brand is clear, especially how it sits in the VW Group. He told me: “We have the youngest customer base of any car company – we’re the brand for the next generation. Our role is to get people into the [VW Group] system. We need to make the gate as attractive as possible.”

With the latest batch of products like the Ateca SUV and new Ibiza, de Meo and his team are succeeding – and there’s more to come, with two new EVs, two more SUVs and something else that he promises will be “really special”. 

Of equal importance to de Meo is his brand’s standing in the Group – and he’s doing all he can to make sure his bosses take notice and continue to invest heavily, which they seem happy to do. That’s why the Ibiza has been chosen to debut the Group’s advanced new MQB A0 platform technology first.

Skoda is similarly poised to challenge VW and Audi for the headlines (and sales). As we revealed recently, Skoda’s EV ambitions are as big as anyone’s in the Group, with its Vision E set to lead the charge at the Shanghai Motor Show

One thing’s for sure, competition between VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda is hotter than ever – and that’s good news for us all.

What do you think of the progress being made at SEAT and Skoda? Join the debate in the comments section below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020
'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'
News

'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'

Just because premium brands can offer cheap finance deals, it doesn't mean that they can fob buyers off with poor customer service, says Deputy editor…
15 Apr 2020
“UK motor industry – your country and its people need you”
News

“UK motor industry – your country and its people need you”

Mike Rutherford thinks the motor industry can still do more to help provide life-saving medical kit
12 Apr 2020

Most Popular

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022
Peugeot 3008

New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022

Peugeot’s next-generation 3008 looks set to receive a radical redesign in two years’ time, evolving into a style-focussed coupe-SUV
13 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020