Seat UK’s dealers are going to have to get cosier with their business neighbours in future if they are to capitalise on opportunities for growth.
The brand has just launched its Leon ST estate, the third bodystyle in the Leon family and one which is aimed predominantly at the company car market.
Ashley Andrew, head of operations at Seat UK, said: “The ST will be a real catalyst for the dealer network to start to get into their SMEs.”
He said true fleet sales are a big opportunity for the brand to build on its successful retail growth of 2013, and Seat is launching the car with a compelling £185 monthly contract hire rate for the 1.6TDI 105PS SE model with free sat-nav and digital radio.
Peter McDonald, Seat UK’s head of fleet, is developing a local business plan for the franchise.
He said it’s a significant opportunity for the 20 dealers on it, who get dedicated funding for a local business development manager and variable funding support dependent on their activity and results.
Coaching began last year to improve these dealers’ skills and understanding of how to approach businesses.
The programme may expand to 25-30 dealers over the next two years as Seat grows its fleet and business sales channels.
Although this programme is in place the rest of the network as a whole shouldn’t ignore business sales.
“There’s also a significant opportunity for every dealer to prospect with our contract hire offers,” McDonald added.
“We see small businesses as a key channel for this car, especially as we’re seeing confidence return to the small business market. With a contract hire rate like this, we expect a lot of interest from small businesses.”