- hird generation of SEAT’s family car has reached 1 million sales since its launch in 2012
- UK, Spain and Germany are the main markets for Leon
- The third generation changed the recent history of the brand
- Leon celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019, with 2,210,712 units sold overall
This week the third generation SEAT Leon has achieved 1 million sales since its launch in 2012. SEAT’s biggest-selling vehicle was presented at the Paris Motor Show that year and arrived to market shortly after with a completely renewed design. Thanks to the “formula Leon”, based on design and functionality, it became the most widely sold model in the SEAT range, overcoming the dominance held by Ibiza for the previous 30 years.
Designed, developed and produced in Martorell, the current generation Leon has been built on the Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB platform since it first rolled off the production line. This platform involved an investment of 800 million euros at the time and meant an unprecedented leap in technology. With the Leon, production quality increased in line with Group standards, and it consolidated 1,600 direct jobs at the factory and more than 6,000 in supporting industries.
SEAT President Luca de Meo explained that, “the SEAT Leon, and in particular the third generation, is the true pillar of the brand; it is the most widely recognised and appreciated car by SEAT customers on all five continents. The Leon is one of the major driving forces behind the transformation of the company and has contributed to the sales record that SEAT posted in 2018, with 517,600 vehicle deliveries.”
The car that changed SEAT
The success of the Leon transformed SEAT’s recent history from a commercial and financial standpoint, and implied a qualitative leap in the perception of the brand image. Likewise, the Leon also enabled the increase of profitability margin per SEAT model, which contributed to turning the negative figures of 2012 (-149 million euros) to the best ever in the history of the company (profit after tax of 294 million euros in 2018).
SEAT closed 2012 with a total of 321,000 cars sold, nearly the same amount of vehicles delivered in the first six months of 2019 (314,300). Furthermore, the Leon has been a key model for boosting sales in countries such as Germany and the UK, where SEAT deliveries have gone up by almost 70% and 60% respectively since 2012. The Leon is still SEAT’s top-selling model, and one out of every four cars sold by the brand in the first six months of 2019 was a Leon.
The Leon was the first car in its segment to feature the iconic headlamps equipped with full LED technology which, together with the blisters on its dynamic chassis, gave it personality and a sense of sportiness. The gradual implementation of the latest technologies such as SEAT Full Link and, more recently, the digital cockpit and wireless charger provided customers with connectivity and convenience inside the vehicle. These advances have all enabled the Leon to create its hallmark on the industry.
At the beginning, SEAT presented this family car with three body types: three-door, five-door and estate, which was later joined by the X-PERIENCE version in certain markets. The SEAT Leon is currently commercialised with the five-door and estate body types, equipped with petrol, diesel and the sustainable compressed natural gas engines (depending on country), as well as a CUPRA version.
SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing and CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths emphasised that “the most prominent aspect of this third generation of the SEAT Leon is the wide acceptance that it still has in the market, even after seven years. In 2017, the current generation of the Leon achieved its record with 170,000 cars sold and now in 2019, we are still confident that it will maintain its volume at a high level close to this figure. The Leon has been, is and will continue to be one of the most relevant models for both SEAT and CUPRA. Its different body types and versions make it the most multi-purpose and versatile car of the brand.”
Did you know that…?
- The first generation SEAT Leon was launched in October 1999; therefore, this year it is celebrating its 20th anniversary
- In total, SEAT has sold 2,210,712 units of the SEAT Leon: 534,797 of the first generation, 675,915 of the second and 1,000,000 of the third. The current generation accounts for 45% of all Leon sales in the past 20 years
- The SEAT Leon is sold in countries on all five continents, from Spain (the country where the most Leon units are sold), to Mexico, Morocco, Singapore and New Zealand
- If the 1,000,000 SEAT Leon cars sold since 2012 were placed in a straight line, they would stretch for a distance of 4,370 kilometres, which is three times the distance between Barcelona and Wolfsburg