Car manufacturer Seat starts production of the new León after investing €800 million in its Catalan plant
The production of the new Seat León, the brand’s flagship model, guarantees 1,600 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect ones in the supply industries. The car manufacturing company, owned by Volkswagen, has its only plant in Martorell, Greater Barcelona. The company has great expectations of the new Seat León, which will be distributed worldwide from Catalonia. The new car model is the milestone of Seat’s commercial and strategic plan for this year, with the objective of becoming profitable again. It will be sold in three different versions: a five-door and a three-door model, and a station wagon car.
Martorell (ACN).- Seat has invested \u20AC800 million in adapting its Catalan factory to build the new León car model. The car manufacturer, which is owned by Volkswagen, has started to produce the new Seat León in its plant located in Greater Barcelona, in the town of Martorell. The decision guarantees 1,600 direct jobs and 6,000 additional ones in the related supply industries. It also confirms Catalonia as a hub of the automotive and exporting industry. The new Seat León aims to become the company\u2019s flagship model and a milestone in its commercial and strategic plan for this year. \u201CIt has to be the great lever\u201D, emphasised Andreas Tostmann, Seat\u2019s Executive Vice-President for Production, \u201Cin order to achieve a greater internationalisation\u201D, which should make the brand profitable again. The third generation of Seat León cars will start to be sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the next few weeks. It will be released into the Spanish market in early 2013 and it will also be exported throughout the world. It will be sold in three different versions: a five-door and a three-door model, and a station wagon car. Seat has increased the Martorell plant\u2019s capacity by 10%, rising to a potential production of 600,000 vehicles per year.
According to Tostmann, the new Seat León\u2019s figures are \u201Cimpressive\u201D, especially considering the current economic situation. Seat\u2019s Vice-President is confident the new car model will have \u201Cplenty of success\u201D in the future. In addition, Tostmann underlined that besides guaranteeing the employment figures in the Catalan factory, the new Seat León should increase the company\u2019s internationalisation levels, which are now around 80% of its global sales.
Objective: increasing exports and being profitable again
Seat\u2019s objective is to become profitable again and to stop being the only brand from the Volkswagen group that has losses in its accounts. \u201CWe will have plenty of news in 2013\u201D, stated the company\u2019s Executive Vice-President for Production.
The Chairman of the Seat Workers\u2019 Committee, Matías Carnero, said that he is satisfied with the kick-off of the new Seat León production. According to Carnero, \u201Cit is a guarantee for the future\u201D, in order to ensure employment levels at the Martorell plant. For him, producing the new model represents the consolidation, and even the growth, of the factory\u2019s number of jobs, as well as Volkswagen\u2019s commitment to the Spanish car brand.
Sold in the European market and throughout the world
The Martorell factory has started production of the third generation of the hatchback Seat León. It will produce cars to be sold in the European market and throughout the world. In early November, the new car model will be sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In January it will arrive in the Spanish shops. In addition, the new León will also be exported into emerging markets, such as Mexico, where Seat is already selling its Toledo model. The new Seat León will also be sold in China and Russia, where the company plans to enlarge its market share, explained Tostmann.
A \u20AC800 million investment to increase Barcelona plant\u2019s capacity by 10%
The company will start producing 200,000 León units per year and increase the figure following demand. The objective is to \u201Csaturate\u201D Barcelona\u2019s plant, producing at maximum capacity, said Tostmann. In fact, Seat has invested \u20AC800 million in order to adapt the plant to the new León, increasing production capacity by 10%. Now the plant can produce up to 600,000 cars per year, thanks to a new production line, which quickens the car assembly time.
Four new models launched in 2012
Seat foresees ending 2012 producing 350,000 units per year, including all its models. However, the company refused to detail a production calendar regarding its other models. \u201CIt will depend on the market evolution\u201D, said Tostmann. In 2012, Seat will have launched four new models: the new versions of the León, Toledo and Ibiza, as well as the small Mii.
The new Seat León, totally redesigned
The new Seat León was presented in the last Paris Automobile Fair. It is a fully redesigned car and it does not look like the previous version. According to Tostmann, the new León is a symbol of \u201Cquality and precision\u201D. The new car has LED front lights, being the first one in its category. The new model has more space in its interior, despite being 52 mm smaller and weighting 90 kilos less. In addition, it comes in 3 different versions: a five-door and a three-door model, and a station wagon car.