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New Seat boss wants more dealers to invest in fleet business

Richard Harrison, Seat UK

Seat’s new brand director wants more of his dealers to invest in helping increase the level of corporate car business achieved by his company.

In an interview as Seat revealed its next Ibiza small car line-up to the media in Barcelona, Richard Harrison (pictured) said the Milton Keynes-based subsidiary was also lending additional support to dealers who are servicing fleets with dedicated sales and management account teams.

"At present, 16 of our total of 123 dealers make the investment that is necessary to give front line support to our fleet ambitions and I'm encouraging others to follow their lead,” he told Fleet News.

“We are now going beyond the point where Seat is regarded as a small player - there are now sufficient numbers of our models on the road to give us the critical mass that makes our brand meaningful.

"With the arrival of the new Ibiza range in September (see gallery below) and new sport utility products based on concepts we've launched in the last few months, Seat will be recognised as a real player in fleet.

He continued: “We have between 3.55% to 4% shares of the Leon and Ibiza segments and I'll be looking to achieve similar results in the new categories we will soon be entering.

"In the segments where we compete, we are a top 10 player and I'm confident we will continue to be successful as we broaden our range and become more appealing to fleets.

“After seven consecutive years of growth in the UK, this brand will continue to expend but I'm not looking to go from 2.2% to 5% market share in the next three years because it's not possible to sustain that rate of development. Sustainable growth is the key to our future.”

More resources are being allocated to providing extra staff to oversee involvement with the contract hire and leasing industry and the management of client accounts as the Spanish brand puts fresh focus on fleet.

"New personnel are being added to the head office fleet team as we bid to further penetrate the user chooser market.”

“I regard company car activities as really quite important - it's an area of business where we have not been very effective in the past and I want to invest in the market as we move ahead by getting into the right places with the right products.”

Fleet registrations accounted for 1,397 of the 15,370 total UK Ibiza sales in 2009, but rose only marginally to 1,482 last year when total sales of the model reached 22,500.

Seat total market share rose from 2% in 2013 to 2.16% the following year. It currently has 1.99% of the market on 22,278 registrations.

Seat Ibiza 2015 [Gallery]

Click a thumbnail to view all the images in the gallery.

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