With its new cars sales flying high and market share running at an all-time record, SEAT is seeing its stock rise still further among ambitious dealers keen to grab a slice of the Spanish car maker's successful formula.
To the end of July 2010 SEAT had sold a fraction under 20,000 new cars in the UK, an increase of almost 4,000 - or around 24% - on the same period last year. Market share, year-to-date, is running at a record 1.6% while for the month of July that figure leapt still further to an impressive 1.9%.
Understandably, then, a SEAT franchise is increasingly being viewed as a hot property by dealers, and dealer groups, keen to share in the brand's UK success story.
The SEAT dealer network, including service-only outlets, currently stands at a record 129 with just a handful of open points around the country remaining.
And a flurry of recent dealer acquisition activity has seen some of the motor industry's 'big guns' begin or, in some cases, strengthen their relationships with SEAT. Most recently, for instance, top ten UK automotive retailer Vertu Motors plc acquired SEAT dealership GK Motors, in Derby, in a £480,000 deal.
Other big name dealer groups currently operating SEAT franchises include Lookers and Arnold Clark. Meanwhile a host of top quality regional dealers groups including Snows Group (South coast); Blade (West Country); and Marshall (East Midlands) hold a growing number of SEAT franchises.
Speaking at the time of the GK deal Vertu Motors chief executive officer Robert Forrester said: "We are delighted to expand further with SEAT, which we believe is very well positioned. The acquisition we announce today adds to our continued development."
Other important SEAT dealer openings or acquisitions in recent months include Autoplanet (Tunbridge Wells); Pulman (Sunderland); White Quay (Newbury); Horton (Lincoln); Hughes SEAT (Farnham Common) and Alistair Fleming SEAT (Dundee).
SEAT UK National Franchise Manager, Jason Cranswick, said: "The obvious appeal of our brand is there for all to see.
"A cracking line-up of new cars - including the newly-launched Ibiza ST, thrilling Leon Cupra R and forthcoming new Alhambra people carrier - helps to create the most attractive model range we have ever offered.
"This is supported by a strong, and growing, marketing operation which further underlines our ambitious plans."Published 19 August 2010