Sales to increase by 10 per cent in 2011 ahead of the launch of an all-new Leon in 2012

Seat will increase sales by eight to 10 per cent this year ahead of launching four new models in 2012, company boss James Muir has said.

Muir told Auto News Europe that the new Ibiza ST and Alhambra models Seat launched last year would be the main contributors to growth in 2011. Last year the firm sold 340,000 units.

Muir, who took over at Seat in 2009 and last year announced a five-year restructuring plan that was "the last attempt for Seat as a brand", added that 2012 would see the launch of “the new Leon, a totally new entry-level model, a four-door sedan and a major Ibiza facelift”.

Full story: Seat's 'last chance' survival plan

Seat will hire 300-800 employees this year, the majority in Spain to help support the brand’s growth and also the build of the Audi Q3 at its sole Martorell factory.

The firm recently revealed plans to launch in China and Muir wants Seat’s annual sales to be at 800,000 units by 2018 as part of VW’s global growth strategy to become the world’s largest car maker. Seat is expected to become profitable again in 2013; last year it recorded a 311 million euro loss.

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