Report: Seat to Launch Four New Models in 2012 including a Four-Door Sedan

VW‘s Spanish subsidiary is expecting a 10 percent rise in sales this year and aims further growth in 2012, when it will launch four new models. According to CEO James Muir, new products such as the Ibiza ST and the Alhambra will boost Seat sales in 2011. “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,” Muir was quoted as saying by Autonews Europe. For 2012, the company has even bigger plans, fueled by the launch of four new models. “We will launch four new cars: the new Leon, a totally new entry-level model, a four-door sedan and a major Ibiza facelift,” said Muir, who was appointed head of Seat in 2009. While the new Leon is no surprise and the entry-level model should be Seat’s version of the VW Up!, the four-door sedan leaves room for speculations. The most logical choice would be to build a new Toledo, based on the upcoming Leon. But the four-door sedan could also be a reiteration of the Cordoba or even a facelift of the older Audi A4-based Exeo. In order to sustain the expected sales growth, Seat will also hire more people. “Before the end of the year, we will hire 300 to 800 new employees,” Muir said. His plans for 2018 are way more ambitious: by that time Seat should sell 800,000 units a year and achieve a 15 percent return on investment. By Dan Mihalascu Source: Autonews Europe [Sub. Req.]