Altering the Seat of power
Recycled Audis could be the go, writes PAUL GOVER in Paris
RECYCLING has taken a new direction at Seat, which will force an Australian rethink for the Spanish brand. Seat is taking on superseded Audi cars and giving them visual tweaks before adding its badges. The objective is Audi-style quality at Seat prices, a policy driven from Volkswagen Group headquarters in Germany.
The latest Seat Exeo sedan is a mild tweak of the just-superseded Audi A4 sedan, and Seat also has plans to rework the compact A3.
The Exeo was revealed at the Paris Motor Show alongside an edgy Cupra hatch, which has a twin-turbo 1.4-litre petrol engine.
But it is the potential of the recycled Audis that is attracting attention from Volkswagen Group Australia, even though it has previously passed on the chance to reintroduce the brand. It chose instead to go with Skoda, which has a youth-first policy in its design and prices.
‘‘There is no timing to bring Seat into Australia. First, we want to grow Skoda,’’ VW Group Australia boss Jutta Dierks says.
Even so, she says the new-age Seat range is more attractive, and there could be a chance for a workable business plan with new management at the top of the Spanish division.
‘‘The new models definitely make interesting. They are very sporty and could be attractive for Australia,’’ Dierks says.
Seat has big plans for the Exeo, which takes it into a new showroom category in Europe. The A4 sedan is much bigger than its previous models, but will be sold from about $39,000.
‘‘With the Exeo we are offering a car for dynamic and sporty drivers . . . an interesting alternative for quality-aware company car drivers who are looking for driving fun but . . . pay attention to low fuel consumption and low emissions,’’ Seat president Erich Schmitt says.
Turn around: Seat has great plans for the recycled Exeo (above) and the hot Cupra (below), which has a twin-turbo 1.4-litre petrol engine.