The 2013/08/12 at 08:39
François Larher, Head of Corporate Sales and Second-Hand Vehicles, has been working for 17 years in the Volkswagen Group France.
What is the history of the make?
SEAT is a relatively young make in the world of automobiles as it was launched around sixty years ago in Spain. It developed primarily on its domestic market for about thirty years before being taken over by Volkswagen in the 1980s. This has allowed it to access all European, then global markets: today, SEAT can be found in Mexico, Russia, and even China.
How is SEAT France organised?
Around fifty of us work at the head office, in Villers-Cotterêts (02), for all distribution networks, namely 170 points of sale and 225 approved repairers. France is an important player for the group as we sell around 10 % of 350,000 cars produced by SEAT every year.
Tell us about the SEAT range…
We have a comprehensive range of seven vehicles. There are urban vehicles (the Mii and the Ibiza, declined in 3-door, 5-door, station wagon or van versions), compact sedans (the Leon) or touring vehicles (the Toledo and the Exeo). But also people movers (the Altea and the Altea XL), as well as a very large vehicle seating up to seven passengers, the Alhambra.
You launched your business range in the last quarter of 2012. What are its features?
This is a turnkey offer, specifically conceived to satisfy corporate needs for the Ibiza, the Toledo and the Leon. In short, we install in the vehicles, for the same price, equipment that is optional for individual clients: cruise control, Bluetooth, GPS, reverse sensor radars…
Absolutely. They benefit from a preferential offer thanks to our SEAT Fleet Solutions. They therefore can choose between different types of rental systems: long-term leasing, credit leasing or classic credit, with à la carte services in terms of maintenance, guarantees, tyres or fuel cards. This is a highly competitive offer comprising different components, which simplifies life for businesses.
Who are your clients?
We are lucky to be able to position ourselves on all fleet sizes, in particular on the small business market, that is, businesses with fleets ranging from one to twenty vehicles. This is a domain set to develop.
What are your strengths compared to the competition?
The innovation of our range is the key to its attractiveness. The Ibiza was revamped last year; the Leon and the Toledo have just been launched. Great changes in quality have also been made to the make, especially visible in the vehicles’ interiors, in the quality of finishing, materials and assembly. Our cars benefit from all Volkswagen technologies, namely translated by extremely low fuel consumption as we are down to 3.8 litres for an Ibiza, 3.9 litres for a Leon. Our CO2 emissions are amongst the lowest on the market, with 89 g for the Ibiza and 99 g for the Leon. SEAT is a make that is young-minded, dynamic, with a fighting spirit, thanks to its Spanish roots, while also benefiting from all the assets of German technology. We sum up this state of mind by a catchword, “enjoyneering”, technology at the service of pleasure.
What are your prospects for development at this subdued time for the automobile market?
The global market should diminish by 5 % this year, but we envisage very ambitious growth, our objective being to double our corporate sales.
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