SEAT is starting 2010 on a high as the sporty Spanish brand looks back on an exceptional sales performance over the last 12 months.
With the latest official figures confirming that 2009 saw SEAT notch up its best ever market share in the UK, 1.50% (source: SMMT), and the December sales share of 1.64% coming within a whisker of an all-time market share record for the month (1.65%, 2003), the firm is optimistic about its prospects for the year ahead.
The Spaniards’ sporty, stylish and engaging model line-up – which ranges from perennial favourite the Ibiza supermini through sporty Leon hatch and practical Altea and Altea XL to capacious seven-seat Alhambra and luxurious Exeo saloon and ST – is, this year, set to be joined by further attractive newcomers including the svelte Ibiza ST and ultra-quick Leon Cupra R.
Already one of the youngest car ranges available from any mass market maker in the world thanks to a frenetic ongoing programme of model replacement and renewal, the SEAT
line-up is clearly connecting with British buyers like never before.
Strong performances across the entire range helped SEAT UK to its 2009 total of 29,987 new car sales, a worthwhile increase of more than two per cent on the 2008 figure and one that has come without over-reliance on the Government’s welcome scrappage scheme. This, too, in a market down 6.4% overall last year to stand at 1.99 million – the first sub-two million new car market since 1995.
Ibiza 5dr and SC were, again, SEAT’s biggest sellers in 2009 with more than 15,300 finding homes in UK garages, while the newly revised Leon – relaunched here in the summer – ably supported its supermini sibling with registrations totalling more than 9,400 last year.
Altea and Altea XL – also comprehensively revised in 2009 – chipped in with combined sales of more than 2,800 while executive class buyers have clearly been quick to see the exceptional appeal of the new Exeo saloon and ST estate which, together, recorded more than 1,400 sales despite only appearing in showrooms part way through the year.
And the Exeo was, in no small part, responsible for helping SEAT to yet another market share record in 2009 – this time in the fleet sector. At 1.6%, the Spanish brand’s fleet share is the highest in its 25-year history in the UK.
SEAT’s exceptional green offering in the shape of its burgeoning line-up of environmentally responsible Ecomotive models also played its part, with class-leading models like the
98 g/km new Ibiza Ecomotive leading the way.
All this naturally puts Peter Wyhinny, Head of SEAT UK, in positive mood for the year ahead.
He said: ‘The achievements behind our exceptional sales successes in 2009 cannot be overstated. The economic backdrop to this record market share was, arguably, the worst in living memory and yet the appeal of the SEAT line-up has obviously shone through.
‘The debuts last year of iconic additions to our range such as the stunning Ibiza Cupra Bocanegra ensure we continue to lead in the style stakes, too.
‘Add the enduring appeal of our cars, characterised by record used car sales to the dealer network in 2009 plus consistently impressive residual values, and a strong programme of product renewal and expansion throughout the next 12 months and beyond, and despite the uncertain economic conditions you can see why we’re cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.’