Seat, Volkswagen Group subsidiary in Spain, plans to introduce four new models in 2012, including the new Leon hatchback, a redesigned Ibiza, a four-door sedan and a totally new entry-level model. The automakers motivation is fueled by encouraging sales figures, which are expected to rise by 10 percent this year.
"We want to increase our 340,000 unit sales from last year by 8 to 10 percent thanks to existing models. We aim to sell 45,000 units of the Ibiza ST (station wagon) this year. And the Alhambra already is well above plan so we expect a full-year volume of 20,000 units. This proves that our brand is gaining strength," James Muir, Seats Chief Executive, told Autonews Europe.
While the new entry-level model is likely to be Seats version of the Volkswagen Up! city car, theres still room for speculations when it comes to the four-door sedan. Automotive observers expect this to be either a new Toledo, based on the upcoming Leon, or a return of the Seat Cordoba. There are also predictions that Seat may offer a facelift of the older Audi A4-based Exeo.
In order to sustain and improve the expected sales results, Seat will also hire more people. Before the end of the year, we will hire 300 to 800 new employees, Muir said. The companys ambitions doesnt stop there: by 2018 Seat plans to sell 800,000 units a year and reach a 15 percent return on investment.