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New SEAT Ibiza gets the attention at opening of 38th Barcelona International Motor Show

The 38th edition of the Barcelona International Motor Show kicked off on Thursday, with a session dedicated to journalists and industry professionals. On the first press day of the event, 11 carmakers unveiled some of their new products. In particular, SEAT – the Barcelona-based car manufacturer which forms part of the Volkswagen group – unveiled the new 2015 models of the Ibiza and Alhambra ranges, two world firsts. The Ibiza's new model retains the exterior design of its predecessor but incorporates state-of-the-art technology to allow smartphone use while driving. The International Motor Show will open its doors to the general public on Saturday 9 May, with 38 international brands – 17 more than two years ago, marking a turning point after the darkest moments of the economic crisis.

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08 May 2015 12:10 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The 38th edition of the Barcelona International Motor Show kicked off on Thursday, with a session dedicated to journalists and industry professionals. On the first press day of the event, 11 carmakers unveiled some of their new products. In particular, SEAT – the Barcelona-based car manufacturer which forms part of the Volkswagen group – unveiled the new 2015 models of the Ibiza and Alhambra ranges, two world firsts. The Ibiza's new model retains the exterior design of its predecessor but incorporates state-of-the-art technology to allow smartphone use while driving. The International Motor Show will open its doors to the general public on Saturday 9 May, with 38 international brands – 17 more than two years ago, marking a turning point after the darkest moments of the economic crisis.


Seat enters the Barcelona International Motor Show as sales leader in Spain during April and with the classic Ibiza model as the best-selling car. On Thursday, the new flagship model of the company was introduced, which – according to company President Jürgen Stackmann – represents an "evolution of the legend". The new model within the Ibiza family, manufactured at the plant in Martorell (Barcelona Metropolitan Area), maintains a line of continuity with the old model on the outside but has a renovated interior, with new seats, steering wheel, clock, navigator and control panel.

The main novelty of the vehicle is a breakthrough in connectivity, the result of an agreement with Samsung made public at the Mobile World Congress. "Taking into account that we need to be permanently connected with the mobile phone, it enables us to know what is going on, while we do not have to look away from the road", explained Fernando Salvador, Director of Communications for Seat Spain. "Without the need of losing attention when driving, our Ibiza will be able to read messages received through instant messaging, social networks or our e-mail accounts", he stated.

The first quarter of 2015 has been Seat's "best in the last eight years," Stackmann stressed, with 100,000 units having been sold worldwide.

Nissan forecasts selling 53,000 units in 2015, increasing sales by 20% over 2014 

On the first press day of the Barcelona International Motor Show, Nissan presented some new vehicles as well. Marco Toro, Nissan Iberia CEO, drew an optimistic scenario for 2015 and forecast that the brand will be able to increase sales by 20% over 2014 figures, reaching 53,000 units sold. This volume of cars would represent the best result since 2007. Toro said that the Japanese car manufacturer – which has a plant in Barcelona’s Zona Franca industrial district – is the eighth most-sold in Spain.

On Thursday, Nissan presented the new Sway Concept Car. Like the new Ibiza, the new Nissan 'concept' is based on an innovative design and gives great importance to connectivity. The Japanese brand also unveiled two other models: the Evalia and the 190CV Pulsar van, the latter being manufactured at the Barcelona plant. All three models had already been unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show.

In addition to Seat and Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Hyundai, Lexus, Skoda, Jaguar-Land Rover, BMW-Mini and Kia also presented their latest models on Thursday. In total, the event will feature 60 international, European and national premieres.

Heads of the Spanish automotive industry to debate the future challenges of the sector

The Barcelona International Motor Show is made up by 4 main areas: 'Brands' (where firms will showcase their new products), 'Connected Car', 'Sketch Car Design' and 'Urban Mobility'.

In partnership with Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the area 'Connected Car' will focus on mobile technologies, featuring innovations key to the future of the automotive industry. Indeed, according to consultancy company Accenture, car-embedded technology is currently a more important selling point than vehicle performance for 66% of buyers.

On Friday the 8th, the representatives of the Spanish automotive industry will debate the future challenges of a sector which represents 10% of the Spanish GDP, in a meeting chaired by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and including the participation of Catalan President Artur Mas.

The meeting will be also attended, among others, by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, the Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria and the European Commissioner for Climate Change and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete.

This year's event comes at a time of recovery for the automotive sector, and with the Spanish Government about to approve the 'PIVE 8' plan aimed at promoting car sales.

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  • The new Seat Ibiza model launched in 2015 (by J. Morros)

  • The 2015 Barcelona International Car Show (by J. Morros)

  • The new Seat Ibiza model launched in 2015 (by J. Morros)
  • The 2015 Barcelona International Car Show (by J. Morros)
New SEAT Ibiza gets the attention at opening of 38th Barcelona International Motor Show