SEAT President Luca de Meo emphasised that “the sales record attests to the success of our strategy and of the models in the product offensive which we launched in 2016. We have posted double digit growth for the second year in a row, an uncommon achievement in the automotive industry. Customer confidence and the positive financial results we are obtaining make us optimistic about facing the challenges posed by the sector. SEAT aims to be a relevant player in the new era of the automotive industry.”
Furthermore, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing Wayne Griffiths underscored that “2018 was a historic year for SEAT. We are one of the fastest growing brands in Europe, achieving the highest sales in our history thanks to double digit growth in major markets such as Germany, the United Kingdom and France. In Spain, SEAT also increased sales by more than 10% and we are the strong leader in the total market, as well as in the private channel. In addition, we also grew overseas in important markets such as Algeria. Last year, one out of every three cars sold by SEAT was an SUV, which enabled us to increase the profitability of the brand as well as of the dealership network. 2018 also saw the successful launch of CUPRA, which led to a 40% sales growth. To sum up, we have a comprehensive, updated product range in the majority segments, and in 2019 the new Tarraco will provide us with a fresh boost to continue growing.”
Unprecedented results in key markets
SEAT’s historic sales record was driven by double digit growth in the five major European markets. Germany is leading SEAT sales with 114,200 vehicles sold (+11.8%) and broke its record for the second consecutive year. SEAT’s growth performance in Spain remains solid, where deliveries went up by 13.2% to stand at 107,800 units, boosting the company to a market leadership position. In addition, the Leon and the Ibiza were the two most widely sold vehicles in Spain. The carmaker also achieved its best historic record in the UK, the third market to contribute a greater volume to the brand, following a 12.0% growth (62,900 cars sold).
Growth was even more positive in France (31,800; +31.3%) and the country ranks as one of the markets with the highest growth percentage. In Italy, where the Spanish brand is keeping on a growth path, sales improved by 10.9% compared to 2017 to reach a total volume of 20,000 vehicles in 2018.
As well as in Germany and the UK, SEAT also obtained its best ever sales result in Austria, where sales went up by 5.3% to stand at 18,400 vehicles, moving up to rank fifth in the number of registrations, Switzerland (10,700 cars; +3.3%), Israel (9,000; +2.2%) and Morocco (2,100; +5.2%). In Europe, SEAT sales were also strong in markets such as Portugal (9,600 vehicles; +16.7%), Belgium (9,500; +24.4%) and the Netherlands (8,900; +16.3%). Algeria posted the most prominent growth of the year, where SEAT sold 18,500 vehicles (2017: 5,100). In 2018, SEAT began assembling the Leon, Arona and Ateca at the Relizane plant in Algeria, joining the Ibiza which has been assembled in Algeria since mid 2017.
2019, the year of the Tarraco and of CUPRA
For 2019, the major new development in the SEAT range is the new Tarraco, which will be reaching dealers in the next few weeks. The Tarraco joins the Arona and the Ateca to complete SEAT’s SUV range. In addition, SEAT is also going to start selling the new Arona TGI, the compressed natural gas version of the SEAT crossover and fourth model in the range of CNG powered cars together with the Mii, Ibiza and Leon. Furthermore, it will also be the first full marketing year of the CUPRA Ateca, which went on sale in the final quarter of 2018. The CUPRA Ateca is the new Spanish brand’s first model, and it will bring new customers.
2019 is also going to bring other novelties, which the brand will reveal in upcoming months, such as the presentation of the fourth generation SEAT Leon.
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