The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly magazine is ready to view. The new edition looks at how Seat ended more than a decade of losses and why it expects to become a reliable moneymaker for parent VW Group.
The turn around happened thanks in part to its successful entry into SUV/crossovers, one of the hottest segments in Europe. Now Volkswagen Group’s once-ailing Spanish brand is counting on an even heavier dosage of SUVs -- two more launches in the next two years -- to become a reliable profit machine after 11 consecutive years of financial losses put the brand’s future in doubt.
Seat Chairman Luca de Meo is feeling bullish about his SUV-driven strategy because of strong demand for the automaker’s first-ever crossover, the Ateca, which finished 2016 as Europe’s 14th ranked compact SUV despite only being available for about half the year. Growing to three SUVs from zero will expand Seat’s coverage of the European market to 72 percent from 53 percent, something that de Meo knows Seat will need to help the brand reach his long-term operating margin goal of 1.5 percent to 4.4 percent. Our cover story analyzes Seat’s strengths and weakness. Meanwhile, in an interview with de Meo the Seat boss outlined the brand’s future role within the VW Group and explained why Czech sister brand Skoda is so much further ahead in its development. Speaking of Skoda, we tell you about the special gift it delivered to its parent on the brand’s 25th anniversary as a subsidiary of the VW Group.