TARRAGONA, Spain —Seat's third SUV will become the company's flagship model. It will be a crucial addition to retain more affluent customers and increase margins at Volkswagen Group’s Spanish subsidiary.
The Tarraco, named after the Spanish city of Tarragona, is a five- and seven-seat SUV that sits on VW Group’s MQB A long-wheelbase architecture, which also underpins the VW Tiguan Allspace compact SUV. VW will build the Tarraco for Seat in the German parent’s hometown plant of Wolfsburg starting at the beginning of next year.
Thanks to the Tarraco, Seat may be able to retain customers expanding their families but who now look elsewhere because the Spanish brand’s largest offering is in the compact segment with the Leon hatchback and wagon and Ateca compact SUV. At 4735mm long, the Tarraco sits at the top of the compact SUV and crossover segment. It is 35mm longer than the Allspace and just 65mm shorter than the 4,800mm-long Touareg large SUV.
Seat says it has the youngest customers in Europe at about 43 years old on average, eight to 10 years younger than those of other brands. But as they became more affluent, those customers were leaving the brand.
“The real problem [at Seat] was that as our customers matured, started families and increased their disposable income, we did not have the larger vehicles needed to retain them,” Seat President Luca de Meo told Automotive New Europe a year ago when he confirmed the addition of a larger SUV that became the Tarraco.
“The Tarraco is part of our 3.3 billion euro [about $3.8 billion] investment between 2015 and 2019 in the company’s future and the range of vehicles we offer,” de Meo said in statement.