Jan 31 2010 Malcolm Robertshaw
Ibiza is hot for SEAT
DESPITE the horrendous economic backdrop, SEAT can look back on 12 months of exceptional sales performance as it revs up to greet the first registration of a new decade on March 1, 2010.
Optimism abounds after the Spanish car maker notched up its best ever market share in the UK for 2009, 1.50%, while the company's December, 2009 sales share of 1.64% was within a whisker of an all-time market share record for the month It achieved 1.65% in 2003.
This highly attractive, young looking model line-up - which ranges from perennial favourite the Ibiza supermini through the 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, ultra-quick Leon Cupra R and the Ibiza FR TDI which will be available in sporty SC or five-door bodystyles for delivery in March with pricing from £16,465.
Strong performances across the entire range helped SEAT UK to its 2009 total of 29,987 new car sales, an increase of more than two per cent on the 2008 figure and one that has come without over-reliance on the Government's scrappage scheme.
The Ibiza five-door and SC were again SEAT's biggest sellers in 2009 with more than 15,300 sales, while the newly revised Leon ably supported its supermini sibling with more than 9,400 sales last year.
Revised Altea and Altea XL chipped in with combined sales of more than 2,800 while executive class buyers have been quick to see the exceptional appeal of the new Exeo saloon and ST estate which, together, recorded more than 1,400 sales despite limited showroom time.
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 98g/km new Ibiza Ecomotive leading the way while, no stranger to stylish iconic additions, the Spanish carmaker also recently welcomed the stunning Ibiza Cupra Bocanegra.