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Seat expects 'strong' user-chooser opportunities with new SUV duo

Date: 11 July 2016

Seat's first crossover, the Ateca, will strengthen the brand's fleet appeal among user-choosers, with UK deliveries starting in September, while a smaller counterpart should maintain that corporate sector momentum when it arrives in the UK next autumn, according to the company's president Luca de Meo.

De Meo, who moved from Audi to head up VW Group's Spanish division seven months ago, said: "We are on the cusp of an unprecedented product offensive and fleet-wise both the Ateca and a smaller SUV provide strong opportunities for user-chooser business."

He claimed that the SUV duo would double profit margins in retail and corporate sectors compared with hatchback equivalents as part of the brand shifting its product portfolio's centre of gravity.

The Ateca, priced from £17,990 to £29,990, marks Seat's belated move into the burgeoning SUV market, but De Meo emphasised that no decision had been made on a third, larger seven-seater crossover yet.

He said: "We recognise the wider potential of a seven-seater SUV, but for Seat, if we move above a £30,000 model entry threshold, are we credible enough to operate at that level? This is about how much and how far you stretch a brand plus how fast you go through another price barrier."