SEAT continues on the road to improvement. During the worst year of the crisis, in 2012 SEAT invested as never before over the past 20 years to consolidate its future, earmarking 652 million euros between investments and expenditures in RD − almost 100 million euros more than the previous financial year. This substantial disbursement and a slight increase in workforce did not stop the Spanish car multinational from improving its result after tax by 51% versus 2011, achieving a final figure of -30 million euros.
This important milestone was achieved thanks to the company’s core business, as it can be seen in its operating account, which SEAT improved by almost 100 million euros. 2012 ended with an operating result of -134 million euros, compared to the -232 million of the previous year, a 42% improvement*.
“Last year was more demanding than it had been envisaged, with a substantial drop in demand for vehicles in Southern Europe. But we have managed to maintain the trend of the past three years” highlighted SEAT’s President James Muir at the Press Conference on 2012 results. Since 2009, the company has managed to cut by two thirds its initial operating losses of -391 million euros.
Holger Kintscher, Vice-President for Finance and Organization, underscored that “in 2012 SEAT showed its capacity to generate higher income, optimize costs and increase cash-flow. There is a crystal-clear trend towards profitability”.
More products, and more international
The product offensive and the greater boost to internationalization, in addition to the first full year of Audi Q3 production, were the main vectors of growth for SEAT in 2012. This translated into a growth in income of more than 1 billion euros, hitting a total of 6.1 billion euros (21% up on the previous financial year).
The company increased the amount of vehicles exported from 79 to 83%, and is now present in 77 countries. Even so, this improvement was not sufficient to compensate for the fall-off in automotive sector sales volumes in Southern Europe (-16%), translating into a figure of 321,000 final deliveries of SEAT vehicles in 2012 (8.3% down). All in all, SEAT posted excellent results in countries like Germany, which for the first time ever became SEAT’s number one market, and where the Spanish brand grew 22.5%, whereas registrations in the country fell by almost 3%.
SEAT also boosted its growth outside Europe. Its arrival in China, coupled with the relaunching of the brand in Russia, added to the excellent results obtained in Mexico (+16.6%), North Africa and the Middle East. SEAT quadrupled its deliveries in Algeria, and increased them by 43% in Israel. In 2012 SEAT grew 46% outside Europe and almost 18% of its sales (7 points up on the previous financial year) were made beyond the continent.
SEAT delivered on its commitments, and successfully achieved an unprecedented one launch per quarter. To the good reception given the Mii family (3-door and 5-door) should be added the new version of the Ibiza, Spain’s best-selling and most-exported car in its history. The major effect of the new Toledo will be seen this year. And the launch of the new Leon distills the essence of the future of SEAT – technology, quality and design.
The new Leon is the first car to boast the new SEAT logo, launched at the Paris Motor Show in September last year, and which puts the finishing touch to the transformation of the Spanish brand.
Leading the way in training and employment
Thanks to its own new launches, and the first complete year building the Audi Q3, SEAT increased production at Martorell – its main production facility − by 7%, with 377,000 units rolling off the assembly lines. This Barcelona plant, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, is a benchmark facility for the Volkswagen Group due to its flexibility and productivity.
In addition to maintaining its position as one of Spain’s largest employers, providing almost 11,500 jobs (71 more than in 2011), and 14,000 if the whole group is taken into account, SEAT was a pioneer in the implementation of the dual vocational training (VT) system at its Apprentices School. Based on the German training model, it combines theoretical training with practical work, increases the number of hours and provides all students with remuneration. SEAT invests approximately 13 million euros per annum in training.
Strong in the large-volume segment
In 2013 SEAT’s product range continues expanding around the Leon family. In less than two months the Leon SC will reach dealerships. The model, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show two weeks ago, will see an estate version launched before year’s end.
Both versions will be key in improving SEAT sales, since they will broaden the company’s coverage in the A segment, the most popular in Europe, and where the Toledo is also positioned. The Ibiza family, also with its three bodystyles, already enables SEAT to compete in the A0 segment, the second most important.
Summing up, SEAT President James Muir said, “We have done our homework. Our product range is now both solid and sustainable, since more than 40% of the cars we sell all over the world has CO2 emission levels below 120 grams. Now we have to work so as to translate all this potential into tangible business success”.
At the beginning of 2013 the company had already begun to reap the rewards of the launches of the new Mii, Ibiza, Toledo and Leon. In January and February, world-wide deliveries increased by 14%.
*SEAT prepares its financial statements in compliance with the Spanish General Accounting Plan, not including subsidiary companies. Volkswagen applied International Accounting Standards (IAS/IFRS), and consolidates the SEAT brand figures.
SEAT is the only company in its sector with the full-range capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exports 83% of its vehicles, and is present in 77 countries. In 2012 SEAT had a total turnover of more than 6 billion euros, with overall deliveries amounting to 321,000 units.
SEAT Group employs 14,000 professionals at its three production centres in Barcelona – Zona Franca, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon, amongst other models. Additionally, the company produces the Alhambra in Palmela (Portugal), the Mii in Bratislava (Slovakia) and the Toledo in Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic) at Volkswagen Group plants.
The Spanish multinational also has a Technical Center, a ‘knowledge hub’, bringing together more than 900 engineers whose goal is to be the driving force behind innovation for the number one industrial investor in RD in Spain. In line with its declared commitment to environmental protection, SEAT undertakes and bases its core activity on sustainability, namely reduction of CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, as well as recycling and re-use of resources.