The 2017 Seat Ibiza has been revealed, so we caught up Richard Harrison, managing director of Seat UK, to discuss the impact the Ibiza will have on the company.
What is the new Ibiza’s primary focus?
“The brief for design was to make the best-looking car in the class. It’s a Seat so it retains a sporty, dynamic edge and, for us, it’s about finding the balance for getting the heart racing while offering practicality and usability. It has to be fun to drive and yet is a quality product that offers function and utility.”
What impact do you expect the new Ibiza to have on Seat’s success?
“The new Ibiza is a huge change and it’s got enormous potential to draw in new customers. Ibiza has traditionally appealed to young-at-heart buyers with its sporty looks and feel, but with the new flagship trim called Xcellence, the new car gives us an opportunity to broaden our audience further, particularly for customers wanting comfort, style and technology.”
The Seat Leon has just overtaken the Ibiza as Seat’s best-seller, will the new car reverse that?
“We will have a good fight on our hands between the Ibiza and Leon. The improvements in quality, equipment level and technology mean we have a lot of confidence in the Ibiza. You’ll see the upgrade in quality and the way it drives. It’s a completely new car because we’re the first to get the MQB A0 platform, which is a real show of confidence for the Ibiza from the Volkswagen Group.”
What do you hope to achieve with the Ibiza in 2017?
“In the same way that the Leon moved the brand on in 2013, the Ibiza is going to move it on again. It’s arriving just after the new Seat Leon and Seat Ateca, so Seat is having its most successful period ever. 2017 will be a record-breaking year.”