Seat is resigned to losing customers seeking “basic transportation” as it launches a five- year “brand renovation” prog-ramme, beginning with the new Ibiza in April.
Lars-Henner Santelmann, Seat sales and marketing vice president, said the larger and better equipped hatchback was “rated by customers as more sporty, emotional and trendy”.
The Ibiza shares its platform with the Skoda Fabia and new VW Polo, but senior executives claimed exciting driving dynamics set it apart from the other models.
Dr Winfried Burgert, Seat research and development vice president, said: “We have learned a lot in terms of avoiding similarities. We can exercise more influence through brand separation while sharing economies of scale.” Engines range from a 1.2-litre petrol unit to a 1.9-litre, six-speed turbo diesel.