BARCELONA - Seat has delayed its S10 project to build an inexpensive mini car, smaller than the Arosa.
In March, when the Arosa was being presented at the Geneva auto show, Seat was still studying the possibility of producing the model. The S10 was to be a simpler version of the Arosa.
Less complexity in development and production would mean lower costs. Seat customers are used to inexpensive cars.
Seat has not abandoned the low-price end of the market. It has invested in the Marbella, with such items as a new transmission, and it will keep making Marbellas until 2000. The Marbella, a descendent of the Fiat Panda, was introduced in 1982. The baby Arosa project would have been ready to replace the Marbella. However, Seat's study showed it would be too difficult to do that project on the same schedule as one that is 10 times more important.
The Ibiza hatchback and Cordoba sedan are due in late 2000. They make up almost 75 percent of Seat's sales, selling 228,000 units in 1996. Marbella sold 22,000 units.