Seat boss Jurgen Stackmann believes the firm is on the cusp of being in a position to employ more extrovert designs on its vehicles — but he has warned his designers that they must never stray into creating ‘fashion’ vehicles.
Seat will launch a Nissan Qashqai-sized SUV next year, followed by a Nissan Juke-sized SUV the year after and a seven-seat SUV by 2019. Stackmann believes that the small SUV in particular will give the firm licence to offer stronger style.
“Our first job has been to establish the core factors of the brand: reliability, safety, good value. Without these things, a design-led approach would be just fluff,” he said. “But we are almost there, and the success of Leon shows buyers understand that.
“With that quality established, the time is almost there to push design. Our design should be more overt than Volkswagen’s. Our designers have done a fantastic job to date - so much so that they now do work across the VW Group - and there’s scope to do more.
“My only caution is that we must never stray into fashion, where design compromises functionality or creates a look that is only desirable for a short period of time.”
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