Somewhere among all the new McLaren and Ferrari models at the Geneva Motor Show this year, there will be a new supercar from Spain-based Spania GTA, which the company is teasing today.
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The move comes as a bit of a quid pro quo for Audi, since SEAT’s Exeo flagship is a re-badged Audi A4, and with SEAT’s flagging sales presenting an issue for Volkswagen’s overall profitability, the excess production capacity could be put to good use building a product that will surely be a hit. The move will also add between 700 and 1,200 jobs in a region that has been hit hard by the global recession.
The Q3 will share a platform with the upcoming Porsche Cajun, but the P-Car will be built at a separate facility in Leipzig, Germany.
Despite the misfortunes of the SEAT brand, Volkswagen is planning to bring the Spanish automaker to China, where the appetite for cars seems limitless.
Volkswagen is planning to erect a booth for SEAT at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show, and eventually produce the cars at its assembly plant in Foshan around 2013. SEAT has faltered recently despite offering a range of affordable compact cars with a sporty bent. The brand lost 311 million euros last year, despite a 0.8 percent gain in sales. There is speculation that Volkswagen will kill the brand if it does not become profitable by 2015.
[Source: Automotive News]
SEAT, Volkswagen‘s Spanish subsidiary, has been given five years to restructure or else VW will be forced to shut down or sell the ailing Spanish brand. While SEAT’s cars are known for offering excellent value with an emphasis on performance rather than luxury. But despite positive reviews from auto journalists, this hasn’t translated into sales for the brand, with sales falling 8.5 percent in 2009. SEAT’s Spanish factory is only working at 60 percent capacity, something VW considers unacceptable. The factory is capable of producing 500,000 cars a year and must be run at 80 percent capacity to turn a profit.
After losing $140 million year-to date, Volkswagen is at the end of its patience with the group, and SEAT head James Muir is aware, describing the last-ditch effort as “the last attempt for SEAT as a brand.”