SEAT have announced as part of a larger initiative from it’s parent company Volkswagen that they will spend 3.3 billion euros on research and development as well as innovation.
As a Spanish brand Seat are spending this money at their head quarters in Spain itself. As one of the biggest businesses in the country it is right that the brand choose to invest in its own country. Currently Seat contributes a massive 1% to over all Spanish GDP and many SMEs are suppliers to Seat which aims to use Spanish companies where it can. The money will cover many things but primarily it is to allow the development of two new models which will help further cement the brand’s success. Seat have been pushing very hard for sometime now to maintain a continual sales growth every year and they have achieved it by growing since 2013. This money will go to further support this growth and increase it beyond what could have been hoped for 3 years ago.
The first of the new models will arrive in 2016 and it will be no surprise that it will be a compact SUV. Seat simply could not miss out on the SUV party and as research continues to show, it has made the right choice. This new car will be seen in showrooms in the early part of 2016 and if the recent styling efforts of Seat are to be used as a guide it will be a very good looking car. What the second car will be is anyones guess at this stage but it could be a larger SUV or a leap into the higher end saloon market. As Seat gain more and more sales and happy customers it would make sense for the brand to launch something into a more expensive market. However, the Spanish giant could well consider a foray into 2 seater MX5 territory using the Cupra brand to lead the charge. It would certainly be an interesting concept and design; a classic Seat grille, Cupra power unit and performance all in a light weight soft top roadster…who would not want to see that?
Seat is actually the only manufacturer to build cars entirely in Spain, this means everything from research, design, testing, building and marketing etc too. The entire process from start to finish uses Spanish people and gives back to the Spanish economy as well as others all over the world when the cars are sold in the various locations. Even the Spanish government recognise and thank the brand for it’s support. It is a great example of how manufacturers can do these things if the situation is suitable rather than always trying to split up operations into the cheapest processes and locations.