Audi has 48 models, and plans to add 12 to 14 more. BMW is finding ever-finer ways to slice the substance of the 3-series family, by turning some of them into 4s and adding GT and Gran Cabrio versions. Even Rolls-Royce and Bentley are planning range expansions with an SUV and a small coupé.
Car makers are racing to build more luxury models at one end of the scale, value brand offerings at the other and a phalanx of SUVs and crossovers in the middle. Model proliferation and the filling of niches, segments and sectors has been the king trend across most of the industry these past 15 years, and there seems little sign of it stopping. Unless, that is, you canvas some views from Barcelona.
That’s where Seat is headquartered and where boss Jürgen Stackmann believes that containing his range and making a bigger effort to sell it can pay dividends. True, Seat is the perennial money-loser among the Volkswagen Group’s vast portfolio of brands, but Stackmann believes the company is heading for the sunlit uplands of profitability, and key to this mission is extracting the maximum sales from the models it already has.