Money-losing Spanish brand Seat will miss its target of making a profit in 2013, but positive signs are increasing for the Volkswagen Group subsidiary.
Seat’s global sales grew 11 percent to 324,500 cars during the first 11 months last year. And Europe accounted for more than 80 percent of those sales. That number would worry most auto bosses given the region’s six-year slump, but Seat President Juergen Stackmann sees great potential for growth in the region.
Stackmann, who took over Seat in May 2013 from James Muir said the company’s No. 1 goal is the return to profitability, although they are not currently focusing on the precise point in time, but rather on product portfolio, sales and costs.
“We do 80 % of our volume in Europe, and we are dependent on these sales results. We see positive signs that our core markets are recovering. Even our home market seems to have bottomed out. We are cautiously optimistic about the next few years. And, unlike many other companies that see Europe as a problem, we actually see it as quite attractive. We believe that we can grow there – regardless of the market’s overall trend,” said Stackmann.
One of the countries with the biggest potential for Seat has become the No. 1 European market, Germany, home to its owner’s Volkswagen brand. They have a market share there of almost 3%. Other markets also show premises for growth: 5 % market share in Austria, or more than 2 percent in the UK. There are a number of markets where we they are at about 1 %, which is regarded as too small. That is why they are strongly focusing on Europe as the core marketing territory.
Via Automotive News Europe