Marketing boss says the launch of the new Seat Leon is the chance for the Spanish brand to prove itself
Mark Tisshaw
7 November 2012

The launch of the new Seat Leon marks a turning point for the firm, according to its marketing chief Christian Stein.

The new Leon is seen as critical to Seat's chances of emerging from years of losses, with Stein describing it as “a chance to reinvent ourselves. This is a turning point for us”.

Stein said the look of the new Leon was “the ultimate expression for the Seat brand”, adding that its new look would have a halo effect on the rest of the firm's models.

“The look and feel of Seat is changing,” he said. "We can offer both a rational and an emotional purchase. We’re Latin flair with German engineering”. None of Seat’s chief rivals from France or Italy were able to make such a claim, Stein added.

“It’s because of this we can sustain our place in the VW Group and in the marketplace,” said Stein. “We have a strong product strategy and aggressive market expansion planned.”

The new five-door Leon will be joined by a three-door hatchback and an estate version to create a three-strong model line-up. “This will allow us to cover more of the market and appeal to more customers,” he explained, noting that the firm had already done a similar thing with the Ibiza range.

Seat now has an increasing presence in fast-growing markets Russia and China, and has spotted expansion opportunities in other markets where it is outperforming rivals. These include Mexico, Algeria, Israel and Turkey.

In Germany Seat is the second fastest growing car brand, something Stein believes is down to people now knowing there is VW Group technology behind the bolder designs. 

Our Verdict

Seat Leon 5dr hatch

Seat's third-generation Leon is attractive and capable, but it can't quite reach the benchmark set by the imperious Volkswagen Golf

Join the debate


7 November 2012

The feedback about the looks of the new Leon on SEAT UK facebook page is almost universally negative. I really hope the three door version will look different and sexier than the bland and boring five door shown here.

7 November 2012

...and I defy ANYONE to identify this car. And this from an ex-Lamborghini designer?? SEAT must be succeeding only on pricing: as cut-price VWs.

8 November 2012

... the same as when something drops, hits the ground and bounces?

Judging from my 2011 Seat Ibiza 2.0TDi (Poor quality and dodgy operating charachteristics), a bounce my be a better description...

Would never buy another Seat, I'm afraid.

8 November 2012

The photo of the car at the top of the page looks like some sort of Chinese car, or a new MG.


The old SEAT Leon was an origianl design and a beautiful car, and still is today. This one looks old already. I hope SEAT can do better then this and rebadged A4s....

8 November 2012

VW need to get their act together.

The mk2 Toledo was similar to the Jaguar Kensington concept, and the Leon hatch off this was almost Alfa-esque.

The next generation Toledo/Leon/Altea all looked too similar like a Renault Scenic. Alright for families. but for those looking a sporty-ish car, about as appealing as Nora Battys bloomers.

VW themselves tried to rectify this by offering a 2nd hand Audi. Went down well with some such as Taxi drivers who appreciated a cheap diesel saloon, but most people saw through this.

This next gen of Seats needs to get back to it's USP. Otherwise Seat will just end up a satellite factory building Polos, Citigroups and UP!!!!!!s.


8 November 2012

A tad plain compared to the last two models, but I'm willing to give it a chance come the next car change.

I've been soldiering on with a Seat Ibiza for the last year or so, and grumbled a bit until I rented a Vauxhall Corsa. After a week with that that leaden thing, how pleased I was to enjoy the Ibiza's featherlight controls again.

Mind you, the electrics have a mind of their own, so it would be nice to think that Seat have gone on top of that particular issue.

8 November 2012

It's just another dreary design, 'Latin Flair' would suggest something a bit more exciting.

12 November 2012

The launch of Seat Leon is considered as a turning point for the firm. But I think they could have made it more elegant. Though I liked the car but it could have been better.

santa monica audi service


29 June 2013

technology decisions necessary to make sure successful technology implementation projects.mcitp mcts // mcse mcsd // mcsa mcpd

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring