Seat will add an SUV to its line-up in 2016, the Spanish firm confirmed at its ‘Annual Results Press Presentation’ in Barcelonda. The company’s boss Jürgen Stackmann revealed that long-held plans for an SUV in the mould of the company’s well-receieved IBX concept had finally been approved by parent company Volkswagen.
The launch of the SUV forms part of a broader growth strategy going ahead, that aims to significantly bolster Seat’s sales, which totaled 355,000 in 2013.
The new Seat SUV will be developed and engineered at Seat’s technical headquarters in Martorell, Spain, and is expected to go on sale in key international markets in 2016. This Seat SUV will take on the likes of Nissan Qashqai. "This is great news. It takes Seat into new territory in one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the world," declared Stackmann, adding, "The SUV is an important pillar in the future corporate strategy and is a major step forward on the road to reaching sustainable profitability for the company."
First hinted during the unveiling of the IBX concept in 2011, the new Seat SUV will be based on a new version of Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform, which will offer the choice of either standard front-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. Power is expected to come from an extended range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines shared with the Seat Leon.
Seat is no stranger to the production of a compact SUV, having produced the Audi Q3 at its Martorell plant since 2011.
Seat's sister brand Skoda is also expected to green-light its own SUV soon. Again based on VW's MQB platform, the new SUV will be a size bigger than the current Yeti. It will be built at Skoda's plant in the Czech Republic alongside the Seat SUV. Production on both models is expected to begin towards the end of next year.