A historic record. SEAT new car sales took off again in 2018 to reach a total of 517,600 vehicles, which is 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).
In 2018, SEAT achieved its sixth consecutive year of sales growth and is going through an unprecedented positive period. Since 2012, SEAT sales have grown by over 60%. In December, SEAT delivered 25,300 cars, which is -23.1% compared to the same month in 2017 (33,000).
The Arona crossover spurred SEAT’s sales in 2018. In its first full sales year, the company sold 98,900 units of its crossover 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.
The company delivers 517,600 vehicles, 10.5% more than in 2017, and exceeds the record set in 2000.
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.”
SEAT achieves sales market leadership in Spain and its largest volume ever in Germany, the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Israel and Morocco.
Furthermore, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing Wayne Griffiths underscored that “2018 was a 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.
Also, the Leon and the Ibiza were the two most widely sold vehicles in Spain. The carmaker also achieved its best historic record in the UK, the third market to contribute a greater volume to the brand, following a 12.0% growth (62,900 cars sold).
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.
CUPRA sales increase by 40% in the new brand’s first year.
As well as in Germany and the UK, 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 the Tarraco and of CUPRA
For 2019, the major new development in the SEAT range is the new Tarraco SUV, which will be reaching dealers in the next few weeks. The Tarraco large SUV joins the Arona and the Ateca to complete SEAT’s Sport Utility Vehicle range.
In addition, SEAT is also going to start selling the new eco-friendly Arona TGI crossover, the compressed natural gas version of the SEAT crossover and fourth model in the range of CNG powered cars together with the Mii, Ibiza and Leon. 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 sports car brand’s first model, and it will bring new customers.
2019 is also going to bring other novelties, which the brand will reveal in upcoming months, such as the presentation of the fourth generation SEAT Leon.