SEAT breaks sales records in 2018 and CUPRA brand sales up 40%

  • SEAT UK sold 62,863 vehicles, 12% more than in 2017
  • The brand’s market share also increased by 0.45% in 2018
  • SEAT is fastest growing car manufacturer in the UK for two consecutive years
  • Leon best-seller in SEAT range in 2018
  • SEAT delivered 517,600 vehicles globally, 10.5% more than in 2017 exceeding the record set in 2000

SEAT UK is celebrating its best ever sales record by selling 62,863 cars in 2018 – 12% more than in 2017 (56,130). The figures mean the brand has also been the fastest growing car manufacturer in the UK for two consecutive years.

The brand’s market share also grew to 2.66% from 2.21% in 2017 – setting another record for SEAT UK and outpacing a shrinking UK car market. In retail sales alone, SEAT was up 14% in the last year, versus a market down by 7%. Year-on-year, the brand was up 27% in true fleet in a market that shrunk by 8%.

The Arona spurred SEAT’s sales in the UK in 2017 with 12,509 sales in its first year, achieving 4.3% market share in its segment. Together with its larger sibling, the Ateca, SUVs now account for 35% of SEAT sales.

Still SEAT UK’s best-seller, the Leon, sold 22,460 units in 2018, making it the fastest-selling model in the family hatchback segment.

Richard Harrison, SEAT Cars UK Managing Director, said, To achieve a second consecutive year of record growth is really pleasing, and thanks to the terrific team efforts from Barcelona right through to the entire UK SEAT Network. Undoubtedly, the arrival of the SEAT Arona in early 2018 has further broadened the appeal of our award-winning range of cars, and I’m optimistic that the March introduction of the all new Tarraco 7-seat SUV, and our easymove range line-up will take us to new heights in 2019”.

Arona

Globally, SEAT sold a total of 517,600 vehicles, 10.5% more than in 2017 (468,400). This result is the largest sales volume in SEAT’s 68 year history and exceeds the record set in 2000 (514,800 cars). Since 2012, SEAT sales have grown by over 60%.

In its first full sales year, the company sold 98,900 units of its urban SUV, which is the third leading model in the range. The Arona successfully joined the Ibiza, Leon and Ateca as one of the brand’s four major pillars. With its revamping just around the corner, the SEAT Leon is still the brand’s best-selling model (158,300, -6.8%) and it achieved one of the best historic results. Deliveries of the Ibiza reached 136,100 vehicles (-10.7%) while the Ateca is SEAT’s fourth most widely sold model with 78,200 units delivered 2018 (-0.6%). Furthermore, in 2018 the new CUPRA brand made its successful debut and posted a growth of 40.0%, with sales of 14,300 units, 4,100 more than in 2017 (note: this result is integrated in SEAT’s total sales figure).

SEAT President Luca de Meo emphasised that, “The sales record attests to the success of our strategy and of the models in the product offensive which we launched in 2016. We have posted double digit growth for the second year in a row, an uncommon achievement in the automotive industry. Customer confidence and the positive financial results we are obtaining make us optimistic about facing the challenges posed by the sector. SEAT aims to be a relevant player in the new era of the automotive industry.”

Furthermore, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing Wayne Griffiths underscored that, 2018 was an historic year for SEAT. We are one of the fastest growing brands in Europe, achieving the highest sales in our history thanks to double digit growth in major markets such as Germany, the United Kingdom and France. In Spain, SEAT also increased sales by more than 10% and we are the strong leader in the total market, as well as in the private channel. In addition, we also grew overseas in important markets such as Algeria. Last year, one out of every three cars sold by SEAT was an SUV, which enabled us to increase the profitability of the brand as well as of the dealership network. 2018 also saw the successful launch of CUPRA, which led to a 40% sales growth. To sum up, we have a comprehensive, updated product range in the majority segments, and in 2019 the new Tarraco will provide us with a fresh boost to continue growing.”

Unprecedented results in key markets

SEAT’s historic sales record was driven by double digit growth in the five major European markets. Germany is leading SEAT sales with 114,200 vehicles sold (+11.8%) and broke its record for the second consecutive year. SEAT’s growth performance in Spain remains solid, where deliveries went up by 13.2% to stand at 107,800 units, boosting the company to a market leadership position. In addition, the Leon and the Ibiza were the two most widely sold vehicles in Spain.

Growth was even more positive in France (31,800; +31.3%) and the country ranks as one of the markets with the highest growth percentage. In Italy, where the Spanish brand is keeping on a growth path, sales improved by 10.9% compared to 2017 to reach a total volume of 20,000 vehicles in 2018.

SEAT also obtained its best ever sales result in Austria, where sales went up by 5.3% to stand at 18,400 vehicles, moving up to rank fifth in the number of registrations, Switzerland (10,700 cars; +3.3%), Israel (9,000; +2.2%) and Morocco (2,100; +5.2%). In Europe, SEAT sales were also strong in markets such as Portugal (9,600 vehicles; +16.7%), Belgium (9,500; +24.4%) and the Netherlands (8,900; +16.3%). Algeria posted the most prominent growth of the year, where SEAT sold 18,500 vehicles (2017: 5,100). In 2018, SEAT began assembling the Leon, Arona and Ateca at the Relizane plant in Algeria, joining the Ibiza which has been assembled in Algeria since mid 2017.

2019, the year of Tarraco and CUPRA

Tarraco

For 2019, the major new development in the SEAT range is the new Tarraco, which will be reaching dealers early in 2019. The Tarraco joins the Arona and the Ateca to complete SEAT’s SUV range. Furthermore, it will also be the first full marketing year of the CUPRA Ateca, which went on sale in the final quarter of 2018. The CUPRA Ateca is the new Spanish brand’s first model, bringing new customers to the marque.

CUPRA Ateca

2019 is also going to bring new reveals, which the brand will reveal in upcoming months, such as the presentation of the fourth generation SEAT Leon.