SEAT is starting 2010 on a high as the sporty Spanish brand looks back on an exceptional sales performance over the last 12 months.
With the latest official figures confirming that 2009 saw SEAT notch up its best ever market share in the UK, 1.50%, and the December 2009 sales share of 1.64% coming within a whisker of an all-time market share record for the month (1.65%, 2003), the firm is optimistic about its prospects for the year ahead.
The Spaniards' sporty, stylish and engaging model line-up - which ranges from perennial favourite the Ibiza supermini through sporty SEAT Leon hatch and practical SEAT Altea and SEAT Altea XL to capacious seven-seat SEAT Alhambra and luxurious SEAT Exeo saloon and ST - is, this year, set to be joined by further attractive newcomers including the svelte SEAT Ibiza ST and ultra-quick SEAT Leon Cupra R.
Already one of the youngest car ranges available from any mass market maker in the world thanks to a frenetic ongoing programme of model replacement and renewal, the SEAT line-up is clearly connecting with British buyers like never before.
Strong performances across the entire range helped SEAT UK to its 2009 total of 29,987 new car sales, a worthwhile increase of more than two per cent on the 2008 figure and one that has come without over-reliance on the Government's welcome scrappage scheme. This, too, in a market down 6.4% overall last year to stand at 1.99 million - the first sub-two million new car market since 1995.
The SEAT Ibiza 5dr and SC were, again, SEAT's biggest sellers in 2009 with more than 15,300 finding homes in UK garages, while the newly revised SEAT Leon - relaunched here in the summer - ably supported its supermini sibling with registrations totalling more than 9,400 last year.
The SEAT Altea and Altea XL - also comprehensively revised in 2009 - chipped in with combined sales of more than 2,800 while executive class buyers have clearly been quick to see the exceptional appeal of the new SEAT Exeo saloon and ST estate which, together, recorded more than 1,400 sales despite only appearing in showrooms part way through the year.
And the SEAT Exeo was, in no small part, responsible for helping SEAT to yet another market share record in 2009 - this time in the fleet sector. At 1.6%, the Spanish brand's fleet share is the highest in its 25-year history in the UK.
SEAT's exceptional green offering in the shape of its burgeoning line-up of environmentally responsible Ecomotive models also played its part, with class-leading models like the 98 g/km new SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive leading the way.
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