Seat, the Spanish car brand in Ireland, is set to undergo a radical overhaul of its operations and customer offering as the company prepares to grow its market share to 3.5 per cent by 2017.
Armed with a €20m investment by its parent company Seat SA, and led by a new management team in Ireland, which is spearheaded by Adam Chamberlain - Volkswagen Ireland’s former head of sales and marketing, Seat Ireland looks set to finally step from the shadows of its bigger sibling brands within the Volkswagen Group.
Following a review of its model range, Seat Ireland has withdrawn approximately 45 per cent of its previous portfolio, while a series of new model launches between now and the end of 2012, including the Ibiza, Mii, Toledo and Leon, is anticipated to account for 90 per cent of sales for Seat Ireland in 2013.
Key to the success is the introduction of a new competitive price structure. Representing an investment of approximately €4m, this new pricing structure came into effect from August 1 and will be a welcome boost to Seat Ireland’s 18 dealerships in Ireland. This will result in an increased value offer for motorists of between five per cent and 15 per cent on many Seat models through price reductions and increased specification. New Seat customers will also benefit from three years warranty and roadside assistance as standard.
In addition Seat Ireland, via Volkswagen Bank, has access to a range of finance offers based on competitive interest rates. To date in 2012, Seat customers have already accessed €3million in finance packages and, with a number of new packages set to be unveiled for 2013, this figure looks set to more than double by year end.
As part of its planning to grow its market share, Seat Ireland is undergoing an ambitious dealership recruitment process as it intends to grow its network from 18 to 28 by 2015. Central to this process is a focus on increasing its penetration within urban areas. This expansion is already well under way with Seat Ireland expected to announce the recruitment of four new dealerships in Galway, Limerick, Westmeath and Dublin.
Seat Ireland has released the new Mii on to the Irish market. The new car will mark a welcome return of the Spanish car brand to the city car segment where it had previously enjoyed success with the Seat Arosa. The new car forms part of an exciting new product offensive, backed by a €20m investment in the brand in Ireland.
The Mii is available initially as a three-door, but this will soon be followed by a five-door, powered by a lively 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine putting out 75bhp. This lightweight and frugal engine sits in the lowest tax band in Ireland, Band A with emissions of 108g/km and therefore also commands the lowest tax rate of just €160 per year. The fuel economy figures are also remarkably impressive, returning 4.7 l/100km on the combined cycle.
The Mii starts at €9,895 and comes in three trim levels, the Mii, Chic and Sport. All cars get high levels of safety equipment, including ESC with hill hold, driver and passenger airbag, passenger airbag deactivation and ISOFIX points for the rear seats. All cars also get a radio CD player with aux-in functionality which allows MP3 players to be used in the car.
The five-door Mii will cost an additional €470 across the range and automatic transmission will also be available for an additional €750. There are also a range of attractive finance offers available for the Mii through Volkswagen Bank. For example the Mii CHIC three-door is available from €149 per month, which includes a three year service plan.