SEAT boss Jurgen Stackmann recently said that he felt the company was on the verge of being able to start using more extrovert car designs. He did say this alongside a warning that the brand should not drift into the realms of creating “fashion” cars though.
The Spanish company have always had a good mix of functional and stylish designs on offer but this new confidence may lead to some really exciting new cars in the future.
When the Leon and Ibiza first arrived in the UK neither were particularly cutting edge. They did offer a welcomed alternative to other hatch backs on the market at the time though. Ford and Vauxhall somewhat ruled the roost and fresh choices are always good. However, over the years SEAT have already become bolder with their designs and the styling for the newer models are certainly more exciting these days.
The car that Stackmann says will start the change will be a Quashqai sized SUV which will be launched next year. After that SEAT will follow it up with a Juke style car and finally a larger 7 seat SUV by 2019. It is the SUV market that the company feels is the one that will allow them license to push the limits. With higher ride heights, and functionality SUVs allow designers to push the limits and SEAT are certainly suggesting they are feeling brave.
As most people know, SEAT is part of the Volkswagen group and much of its recent success is down to the growing knowledge about this. SEAT use a lot of VW equipment and in doing so gain much of the reliability and quality. What Stackmann is keen on now is that SEAT don’t emulate VW styling and actually take a step away from them in terms of design. Many of the SEAT designers actually work across the group on many different brands and the goal now is to bring them back into the SEAT fold and develop a unique brand based on the high quality cars they have produced since joining VW.
Stackmann did deliver this news with a very stern warning to his own brand. He was keen to state that the brand must not stray into design for design’s sake. The plan is to never sacrifice functionality for fashion and create cars with only passing appeal.
It is certainly an exciting time for the brand, and many people who have owned a SEAT over the last 5 or so years will be keen to see what they come up with.