Seat, the Spanish subsidiary of Grupo Volkswagen, last year sold 517,600 vehicles, marking an increase of 10.5% and achieving its historic record. It is the sixth consecutive year in which the commercialization of its vehicles grows, driven in this case by the success of Arona, the smallest of its family of urban SUVs. In its first full marketing exercise, the model approached 100,000 units (98,900), while a year ago it sold 6,700 units.
The emergence of Arona explains how the total sales of Seat escaped the slowdown in vehicle sales in Europe. The Spanish brand has shifted in three years thanks to its landing in the most thriving segment of the automotive industry, the SUV, which until then had not been present. The sales of Ateca and Arona already represent 34% of their total sales and cover the drop in sales of the León and the Ibiza.
The increase in sales in this segment has improved Seat's profitability ratios, as was the case when the Ibiza ceased to be the brand's best-selling vehicle. In 2018 it remained the most successful model of the Spanish brand with 158,300 registered units, but the León suffered wear and at the doors of its renovation they sold 6.8% less, a fall that was still higher in the case of Ibiza ( 136,100 vehicles, 10.7% less).
The new context of Seat also comes from the consolidation in the German market, the main buyer of seats, which concentrates more than one fifth of all vehicles sold by the company. In Spain, the second buyer, 107,800 units were sold after growing by 13.2% (above the set of registrations, which grew by 7%). Germany, however, gains weight every year that passes and in 2018 it was not different, growing by 11.8%. It is followed by the United Kingdom, where 62,900 cars were sold last year, 12% more than a year before, and France, where only 31,800 units were sold, the increase was 31%.