Seat will target fleet sales for the first time with its all-new Toledo, which goes on sale in Spain starting this month.
But it will have to be realistic about its plans, particularly in the fleet-dominated market in the UK, according to UK Managing Director Kevin Rose.
'It is an area we have never been in, and we will have to be realistic,' he said.
'We do not want to be a big player, but we want to be accepted as an alternative,' added Rose.
'We have been working for the past 12 months with fleet and leasing companies building up the awareness of the Toledo, particularly in terms of residual values.'
The move into the business sector will be led by the model using a 2.3-liter, V-5 engine. The engine range starts at 1.6-liters.
After it is introduced in Spain, the Toledo will be launched in Belgium, France and Germany, then other left-hand-drive markets. Right-hand-drive models should reach the UK and Ireland in April 1999.
Seat expects its 120 UK dealers to sell 4,000 models in the first year, doubling that in a full year.
Rose said he planned to add 20 dealers with a mixture of greenfield sites and expansion at current outlets.
'In the UK we have a relatively young network and we want to help them grow and improve profitability,' said Rose. 'Expanding the reach of the new Toledo is key to that, as it will be across all European markets.'
Seat will build 100,000 Toledos a year.