'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.

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...

Recommended

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"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

Most Popular

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class
Car group tests

Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class

The Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class are strong competitors in the premium hatchback market - we find out which is best
19 Sep 2020
New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review
Rolls-Royce Ghost

New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review

The all-new luxury Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon brings new levels of refinement
18 Sep 2020