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Seat under pressure from Spain to leave Catalonia

Despite "politcal and monarchical pressure" to move the company's headquarters, the current political situation is not affecting production or sales

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19 October 2017 12:48 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The chair of Seat Martorell’s plant committee Matías Carnero has said that the company is being pressured to move its headquarters out of Catalonia, in an interview with Radio Television Vasca (RTV).

Carnero told the Basque broadcaster that the company had received “political and monarchical pressure” to transfer their registered office to Madrid.

The firm has stressed, however, that it intends on remaining neutral throughout the crisis between Catalonia and Spain, meaning that, for the time being, the car manufacturer’s headquarters will stay put.

However, the political situation is a cause for concern, he said. Although at present the political standoff has not affected sales or production, the possibility that it might do so has not been ruled out. For now, he said, Seat's objective is to carry on with production, without getting involved in politics.

All this comes as the company has postponed the presentation of a new model seven-seater SUV, due to be released in 2018. Carnero assured this is less to do with concern over the confrontation between the Catalan and Spanish governments, and more to do with the fact the current scenario would detract from the impact of announcing the new model.

According to the plant committee’s president, the future of Seat’s headquarters was discussed on the “day of the Armed Forces.”

Carnero also recalled the relationship between the Spanish government and monarchy with Seat, saying how both the king and the Spanish president Mariano Rajoy have close ties with the managers and councillors of the car manufacturer.

Regardless of the current climate, he explained that work is “guaranteed” as the company is enjoying a “sweet period of sales.”

The president of Seat, Luca de Meo, said in September that the company is deeply rooted “in Barcelona, in Catalonia, in Spain,” as he called for “stability.”

“Seat must adapt to the conditions, as it does in many countries, as happened with Brexit,” de Meo also said. 

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  • Seat president Luca de Meo earlier this year (by ACN)

  • Seat president Luca de Meo earlier this year (by ACN)