For the first time in SEAT’s history the company will be present at the Shanghai Motor Show (April 21-28, 2011) as part of the Brand’s strategy of expansion into new markets.
The immediate objective is to establish SEAT among potential customers before sales begin with the Leon and Ibiza models in 2012.
SEAT S. A. President James Muir said: ‘The Chinese market offers a great opportunity for a brand like ours.
SEAT is synonymous with design, being young in spirit and sportiness – attributes which are greatly appreciated in this market’.
SEAT has identified a large demand for distinctive European cars among Chinese consumers and believes that the timing is right to expand into this key market.
Mr Muir said: ‘Our research shows that Chinese car buyers value performance and dynamism. Furthermore, technology and state-of-the-art engineering are important to them and they are very design-conscious.’
He added: ‘On this basis, we are satisfied that SEAT will bring something fresh and new to the car market in China, helping us to establish a brand identity and a position in the market which is uniquely SEAT’s.’
SEAT’s aim is to gradually enlarge its footprint in China with vehicles manufactured in Spain, at the Martorell production plant near Barcelona.
The news of SEAT’s expansion into China comes hot on the heels of a record-breaking performance for the Brand in the UK.
Last month (March) SEAT UK scored not only its best ever monthly sales, registering a record 7,251 new cars, but also notched up a record market share of almost two per cent (1.98%, source: SMMT).
SEAT UK’s performance so far this year – 10,471 sales versus 9,582 for the corresponding period 12 months ago – shows that the exceptional March figures are no fluke. In fact the brand’s year-to-date market share of 1.88% is another all-time record here.