Currently reading: Seat 'is at a turning point'
Marketing boss says the launch of the new Seat Leon is the chance for the Spanish brand to prove itself

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. 


Read our review

Car review

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

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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ruthwilson 12 November 2012

The launch of Seat Leon is

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.

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Rich boy spanners 8 November 2012

It's just another dreary

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

MrJ 8 November 2012

Let's hope it goes well

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.