New Seat boss Luca de Meo believes his company has "a historic opportunity" to lift itself away from the Volkswagen-led mainstream and "become a front-runner in some important areas" as a result of the recent Wolfsburg upheaval.
De Meo, who took command at Seat barely four weeks ago, believes the recent announcement by group chief Matthias Muller that divisional managements should be more devolved in future may allow Seat to be a leader in areas such as infotainment, "rather than just living under the same umbrella" as the rest the group divisions. "I have some ideas already," he said, "but they are only ideas."
For now, though, de Meo is intent on implementing departing boss Jurgen Stackmann's "solid and logical" model and business plans, which are understood to involve introducing two brand new SUV models in the mainstream market. The models will allow Seat access to 80% of the car market, not the present 50%.
"At present we have 1.2% of the market in terms of sales, which makes us pretty well invisible in some of our 70-odd markets," said de Meo. "We need some models that can make 5% or 6% of a segment, to get us on people's shopping lists."