SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries. In 2017, SEAT obtained an after tax profit of 281 million euros and achieved worldwide sales of nearly 470,000 vehicles.
The SEAT Group employs close to 14,700 professionals and has three production centres - Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain's largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company's global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.
· The brand also obtains in March the highest monthly sales figure and exceeds the 60,000 unit barrier for the first time
· Germany, the UK, Algeria, Austria and Switzerland post historic volumes
· The Martorell factory will operate more Saturdays and Sundays in April and May thanks to the success of the Ibiza, Arona and Leon
· SEAT is going to assemble the Arona and the Leon in Algeria starting next summer
· A historic record. SEAT's global sales grew in the first quarter of 2018 to reach the highest volume in the 68 year history of the brand. With 139,200 vehicles delivered (2017: 117,300), SEAT sales rose sharply by 18.7% from January to March and broke the first quarter record of the year 2000 (136,200).
· SEAT also set another record in March - the highest sales figure in a single month. In March the carmaker sold 60,400 vehicles (2017: 53,200), which is 13.4% more than in 2017, and for the first time broke the barrier of 60,000 car deliveries in one month. The previous record dates back to March of 2000 (56,200 units).
SEAT Vice-President for Sales and Marketing Wayne Griffiths pointed out that "We are very happy for having broken a record that has stood for nearly 20 years. SEAT is now in the strongest position in its history and doesn't intend to stop here. Our current range has the potential to keep growing and there are several opportunities in the markets where we are operating. At the same time, we are getting ready to expand the range and add new models, such as the SEAT Tarraco and the CUPRA Ateca, which we will be launching at the end of this year. We got off to a great fast start this year; nonetheless we are facing big challenges, like in particular the implementation of WLTP."
Double digit growth
In the first quarter of 2018, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, SEAT's three main markets, boosted global growth. Spain advances 15.5%, and with 28,500 vehicles leads SEAT sales, followed by Germany (25,300; +22.8%) and the United Kingdom (18,400; +9.6%), two markets where the brand obtained the best sales result in its history.
The country where SEAT deliveries increased the most compared to the first quarter of 2017 is Algeria, which posted a new record and becomes the fifth largest market by volume. Until March, the brand sold 7,200 vehicles (2017: 900) after it began commercialising the fifth generation Ibiza, which is being assembled in the country's Relizane factory. SEAT has confirmed that starting next summer, the Algerian plant will carry out the final assembly of the Arona and the Leon, both manufactured in Martorell, which will enable the company to continue increasing the sales volume in that market.
In addition, SEAT also showed solid growth in the most relevant European markets, such as France (7,400; +15.4%), Italy (6,200; +16.7%), Austria (5,700; +20.0%), Switzerland (3,100; +21.4%) or the Netherlands (2,600; +68.1%). More precisely, the company obtained its record highest first quarter sales volume in Austria and Switzerland, as well as in Israel (3,100; +3.0%).
The success of the models in the SEAT range is leading to higher production. In this sense, in the months of April and May the Martorell factory is adding ten additional weekend production shifts on Line 1 (Ibiza and Arona) and seven on Line 2 (Leon), as well as four shifts on Line 3 (Audi Q3).
One new model every six months until 2020
The historic sales volume reached in the first quarter of 2018 is the result of launching the Ateca, the Leon, the Ibiza and the Arona in the last two years. SEAT is now preparing to add one new model to its range every six months between 2018 and 2020. The first two will be the SEAT Tarraco and the CUPRA Ateca, which are going on sale at the end of this year.