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Raising Seat’s public profile

Work has to be done to raise the profile of Seat, says its new UK managing director, Peter Wyhinny.

Although its involvement in the British Touring Car Championship has boosted its image among some groups, particularly young drivers, Wyhinny’s task is to ensure Seat gains wider consumer acceptance. As targets for growth he identifies the fleet sector, user-choosers and contract hire.

“The brand has become better known but still awareness is low. On a positive side, there’s no negative perception of Seat, but there’s none at all in some people’s minds. That gives us a blank canvas to play with,” he says.

Seat was the only VW Group brand to display at the British International Motor Show in July.

Wyhinny, who officially took over the post on August 1, says it was an important decision for the carmaker as it coincided with the launch of the Leon FR hot hatch, which will account for around 40% of Leon sales in the UK.

The motor show also hosted the unveiling of the Leon Cupra. “It was a sign of the importance of the UK for Seat as a market for well-specified performance derivatives,” he adds.

With 15 to 20 open points to fill in the retail network, Wyhinny is looking for dealers “who show enthusiasm for the brand”, who will win customers, improve loyalty and fulfil buyers’ needs.

He also wants to work with his dealers on customer service and building used car sales, by identifying necessary improvements.

Although Seat’s customer relationship is good, he wants to lift this even higher by ensuring better consistency of service, generated for the long-term by loyal dealers and staff, and investment in training.

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