|Today at the Guangzhou Auto Show SEAT outlined the brand’s plans for expansion in China. After announcing commencement of operations in the country at the Shanghai show last April, SEAT has already signed off on different agreements to open a network of 12 dealerships, and in the next few weeks will close new deals which will enable the company to begin sales in China with a total number of 15 dealerships.|
The sales and marketing network will cover China’s main cities – including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongquing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chengdu and Guangzhou. In the future, the number of dealerships will grow as new ones are opened.
At the presentation at the Guangzhou Motor Show James Muir, Chairman of SEAT’s Executive Committee, said “expansion in China from 2012 onwards is an exciting chapter in the history of our brand”. “We are working to create a dealership network which will accompany us on the road to success”. He added “our overarching aim is to be present in the country’s most important cities; at a later stage we want to expand the network until we cover all the most important urban areas of the country”.
Weiming Soh, member of the Executive Committee and Executive Vice-president of the Volkswagen Group in China, states that “SEAT’s arrival is an important step for the strategy of the Volkswagen Group in China, since it completes the Group’s brand line-up there”. Soh added that “SEAT will bring its Chinese customers a unique and innovative driving experience”.
The Leon and Ibiza, SEAT’s bets for China
At its first appearance at the Guangzhou Auto Show, the Spanish brand is displaying the Ibiza and the Leon, the two models it will be marketing from 2012 on. The Leon will be available from next Spring, and the Ibiza during the second half of the year. Additionally, the brand will also present the SEAT Alhambra, as well as the three concept cars it has unveiled over the past twelve months – the IBL saloon, the SUV IBX and the sport coupé IBE - all together for the first time at a motor show.
A first for Guangzhou and Beijing
Coinciding with the first day at the Guangzhou Motor Show, SEAT today laid the foundation stone of its future dealership in that city, which will open its doors in 2012. Paul Sevin, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing, highlighted “the symbolic meaning of this act, representing our arrival in China”. Sevin added that “SEAT aspires to be among the most prominent imported brands in the Chinese market”, and stressed that “China, together with other countries like Russia and Mexico, will contribute to increasing exports and the growth of our sales over the next few years”.
The company is currently working on the preparations for the remainder of the sales and marketing network, as well as the hiring and training of staff to get the dealerships up and running by the Spring of 2012. Likewise, SEAT has opened its headquarters in China, in Beijing’s financial district, currently manned by a staff of some 20 persons.
In China SEAT will also present a new concept of dealership for the first time, including a more modern style, providing customer-oriented service. This innovation, to be launched at Chinese dealerships, and later generally expanded to cover SEAT’s sales and marketing worldwide network, will provide customers with a new experience involving all five senses.