SEAT registered a record-breaking 3,983 sales in April – more than in any other April in the history of the company. It represents a staggering 33% improvement on the same month in 2012, which comfortably eclipses the 14.8%* overall UK market growth in April.
Furthermore, SEAT doubled its corporate and retail order take this April, compared to last – an indicator that SEAT’s range has more showroom appeal than ever.
It’s early days yet, but the April sales total means that SEAT is on course for a record-breaking market share in 2013, significantly higher than the record 1.9% it achieved in 2012, which was a fourth consecutive sales and market share increase for the brand.
While new Leon sales form a significant part of the April sales tally, making up over one-quarter of the total, it is actually steady growth across the range that accounts for the month’s success: the Ibiza, Toledo, Altea, Exeo and Alhambra all exceeded expectations.
Director of SEAT UK Neil Williamson says: “It’s the combination of great products and a very hard-working, dedicated team that has made 2013 such a successful year for SEAT so far. We’ve now got the most exciting and most complete product range we’ve ever had, and with the new Leon SC due imminently, and the ST estate later this year, it’s getting even better.
“But nothing actually sells itself, no matter how good, so alongside great cars we’ve also got a dealer network with a massive amount of enthusiasm, and with more focus on customer service than ever.
“We believe that no brand offers the combination of quality, style and affordability that SEAT does, which is why we’re confident that 2013 will be a record-breaking year for us,” he adds.
Huge take-up for Leon full-LED headlights
SEAT has made plenty of noise about the new Leon being the first family hatchback to offer full-LED headlights (and to date the only one), which not only give the car a technological edge in the class, but are an important safety and comfort feature.
And it seems that the buying public have been suitably illuminated as to their benefits, because the take-up of LEDs – optional on SE and FR cars – has been enormous: 79% of eligible cars bought privately in the UK since it was launched.
Much of this success can be attributed to SEAT’s decision to make the Leon Technology Pack, which bundles the LEDs with satellite navigation and DAB digital radio, extremely affordable. These three options together would cost £1,915, yet since the Leon order books opened, Technology Pack has been available for just £500. Ordinarily, it costs £1,075, but it will continue to be available for £500 until at least the end of June.
SEAT improves overall financial results for third year running
SEAT’s UK growth is in line with overall company growth, as demonstrated by the brand’s latest financial results, announced by James Muir at the end of the 2012 financial year.
In 2012 SEAT improved its financial result after tax by 51% compared with 2011, posting a loss of €30m. This result is startling in context: in 2011, SEAT posted a -€134m result, and in 2010, -€232.
Income grew by more than £1bn in 2012, while SEAT put €652m into investment and R&D expenditure, which is €100m more than in 2011.
SEAT is clearly on a path to major profitability, with the 2012 result coming because of an increase in exports, a major product offensive including the launch of the new Leon, and the first full year of Audi Q3 production at Martorell – a facility whose overall output increased by 7% in 2012.
SEAT is now present in 77 countries, and its vehicle exports grew from 79% in 2011 to 83% in 2012.
SEAT also boosted its growth outside Europe. Its arrival in China, coupled with the re-launching of the brand in Russia, added to the excellent results obtained in Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East. SEAT quadrupled its deliveries in Algeria, and increased them by 43% in Israel. In 2012 SEAT grew 46% outside Europe and almost 18% of its sales were made beyond the continent – seven points up on the previous financial year.