Seat UK managing director Neil Williamson has told AM that he 'expects the UK new car market to be stronger this year than 2014'.
The brand’s dealer network made a 1% return on sales (£65,000), last year – twice what they earned in 2013, and it has set a new goal of 2% for dealer return on sales in 2015.
Seat has seen a strong start to the year already, and with the release of the Ibiza facelift coming this year and the introduction of the brand's first SUV next year, Williamson believes dealers should be excited.
In an interview at the Geneva Motor Show, Williamson said: “It has been a fantastic start to the year and we still have the Ibiza facelift and two new derivatives of the Leon ST range, Cupra 280 and X-Perience (4x4) to come.
"Our first ever SUV will be on sale next year and is a completely new segment for us – we are actively moving the brand to accommodate a wider range of customer. Dealers are very happy that we have finally introduced it as we have been promising them for a while.
“My dealer network is everything I’ve got, I’m nothing without my dealers and we are working closely with them to ensure they make a good profit – they need to be making a circa 2% profit or they wont invest and wont employ the right people.
“We currently have 124 dealers, 60% of which are multi-franchise, and that aids back-of-house savings for them.
“We’ve also adopted a new corporate identity (CI), after 14 years – two dealers have been updated so far, with all dealerships expected to be finished towards the middle of next year. Each refurbishment costs around £75,000 - we pay half towards this, which dealers can then spread across three or four years so it’s not one big cost.
“We are confident we have got this right and at a great price, and all dealers are happy with it, which makes for an easy roll out.”
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