SEAT opts for Mexico as key country for growth and internationalisation. The Spanish company has presented the new Leon, with which – in addition to the Ibiza – it hopes to consolidate itself among the 10 best-selling brands in Mexico, after growing 60% over the past two years. SEAT has started 2013 by growing at a rate of 8.5% in Mexico; in the first four months of the year it has already registered 7,360 vehicles, making it the ninth best-selling brand in the country.
“We are delighted at the way the brand has been moving”, said Edgar Estrada, head of SEAT in Mexico. “We are confident that the strength of the new Leon will help us continue to grow in Mexico. Our commercial offer is renewed with the Leon, that enables enjoyment of the latest technology and offers great value for money”, he added.
The Spanish brand has not stopped growing in Mexico since 2010, when it recorded a share of 1.7% in passenger cars retail sales. That year it sold 13,380 units, growing to 18,115 in 2011, and rising to 21,114 last year. SEAT has a network of about fifty dealerships in the country and which will grow over the next few months.
These data make Mexico SEAT’s sixth most important market at this moment, and the second most important outside Europe, after Algeria. For the sector as a whole, Mexico is the world’s fifteenth most important automotive market, and the third most important in the Americas, coming only behind the US and Brazil. In 2012, sales were close on the one million mark.
The success of the Ibiza in Mexico is unprecedented, and SEAT wants to repeat that success with the new Leon, more than 25,000 units of which have been sold in Europe in less than six months. The five-door Leon will begin to be marketed in Mexico in June, and the SC three-door version of the compact car will arrive in the last quarter of the year. Both models will be built at the Barcelona Martorell production plant. In Mexico SEAT distributes the three- and five-door versions of the Ibiza, the Altea XL and Freetrack, the new Toledo and, to date, the second-generation Leon.
THE NEW LEON, A FUSION OF DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
The Leon is the first production vehicle to express SEAT’s new design language. The new compact car is equipped with a wide range of ground-breaking technological solutions improving safety and increasing connectivity. At the same time, it is the first car in its segment to offer integral LED headlights. The new Leon is manufactured on the new Volkswagen Group MQB platform and, although 90 kilogrammes lighter and 52 millimetres shorter than its predecessor, has more room inside. The wide range of power units provides customers with the guarantee of finding the most suitable one for their needs. The new Leon is also equipped with Start/Stop technology to increase efficiency.
During the presentation Fermín Soneira, head of Complete Vehicle Development and Chassis at SEAT, explained that “the new Leon combines the dynamism of the brand’s design language with the latest technology. The precise design and the quality of the execution reflect its high level of development”. Soneira added that “the new Leon provides great driving pleasure and tremendous efficiency, together with outstanding design and a high degree of functionality”.
Jorge Díez, SEAT’s Exterior Chief Designer, underscored the fact that “the new Leon offers solid and safe handling, as well as looks that seem just right. It is an elegant and sporty vehicle”. “The volumes of the Leon are extremely well-proportioned and the expressive lines show off its dynamism, such as the outline of the headlights and the rear light clusters. The new Leon just oozes character”.
SEAT SALES GROW 20.5% IN APRIL
SEAT is an example of internationalisation. The Spanish company exports 83% of its cars and is present in 77 countries, a fact that enabled it to grow worldwide by 11.5% between January and April compared with the same period last year. In April SEAT sold 30,058 vehicles, 20.5% more than in the same month in 2012.
In Germany, the company’s main market, SEAT sales have grown by 30.6% so far this year, reaching a figure of 23,702 vehicles. In Spain the brand has delivered 22,356 vehicles (+10.7%), with another 14,784 (+9.0%) in the UK. The company has also seen strong growth outside Europe during the same period, with 7,822 vehicles (+137.6%) sold in Algeria, 2,126 (+111.1%) in Turkey and 1,217 (+310.5%) in Russia, where in 2012 SEAT reinforced its presence and initiated a new phase together with the Volkswagen Group importer.