April 26, 2012

Seat launches market offensive in China

A new era is beginning for Seat. The Spanish manufacturer is, at the Beijing Motor Show, launching its offensive on the Chinese market with the official opening of eight dealerships and the handover of its first customer vehicles. By the end of the year, the
network will have expanded to 15 outlets.

These state-of-the-art facilities are being built and outfitted in line with Seat’s new brand identity and will serve as a model for the worldwide development of the new Seat look-and-feel. Vehicles sold in China will be produced in Europe, starting with the Leon then followed later this year by the new Ibiza family. And James Muir, Seat’s Chairman, has confirmed that the brand intends to launch the Alhambra, its award-winning people-carrier, in China next year.

“China is very important for Seat. Our offensive on this growth market is a further stepping stone in the development of the brand and just as important as our investment in the highly attractive, new products that we will introduce in the near future,” says James Muir. “The car market in China is continuing to develop at a very rapid pace and there is a growing demand, particularly among young buyers, for premium, sporty vehicles that are differentiated by a clear and individual design language. This is where Seat delivers a unique product offering and this is where we will be successful.”

Launch in eight highly dynamic urban regions
The new showrooms and dealerships played host to simultaneous opening ceremonies yesterday in eight of the country’s urban regions – in Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Wuhan and Zhengzhou. Those cities selected are deemed to hold a high potential for the Spanish brand. Each of them lies at the heart of a region with five- to ten-million inhabitants, they have an above-average income structure and a high proportion of hi-tech and growth industries.

Over the coming months the Seat dealer network in China will further expand, with the total number of outlets rising to 15 by the end of 2012. This summer, showrooms will open in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanning, Xi’an and Xiamen, not forgetting of course Beijing and Shanghai, which are scheduled to follow.  Each sales and service point will be operated by an experienced investor and highly motivated partner. 

New corporate identity reflects brand values
All showrooms feature state-of-the-art and exclusive design in accordance with the new Seat brand identity, conveying a unique brand experience for all the senses. Bright, expansive, with powerful and warm colours, they reflect the design philosophy and core values of the Spanish brand – clear, precise and attractively distinctive. The interiors of the showrooms appeal to all senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste.

The first Seat Leons are handed over to customers
Multiple showroom opening ceremonies were conducted yesterday in the presence of a member of the Seat Board of Directors. James Muir attended the opening in Wuhan, Paul Sevin (Sales and Marketing) in Zhengzhou, Josef Schelchshorn (Human Resources) in Chonqing, Dieter Seemann (Purchasing) in Suzhou, Dr. Andreas Tostmann (Production) in Chengdu and Ramon Paredes (Governmental Relations) in Shenzhen. Frank Schreier, Head of Quality of Seat, attended the opening in Nanjing. The opening festivities will also see the first buyers of a Seat Leon take possession of their car.

Ibiza and Alhambra will expand the line-up
Following the market launch of the Leon, Seat will expand its line-up in China with the new Ibiza as an import vehicle produced in Spain. With its stunning design, the Ibiza fits perfectly to the unique positioning of the Seat brand on the Chinese market and reinforces the reputation of Seat as a pioneer of emotional automotive design. The intention is to further enhance the Seat portfolio in China with the Alhambra. With this dynamic, class-leading MPV, Seat is responding to a definite trend on the rapidly developing Chinese car market – sporty leisure vehicles with a high-degree of functionality are currently experiencing a distinct increase in demand.


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