The SEAT dealer network is growing fastDynamic Spanish car maker SEAT is strengthening its successful UK dealer network as it builds on its outstanding performance in 2011 and gears up for perhaps the most exciting year in its history.

With a raft of thrilling new models – including the much-anticipated Mii city car – scheduled for launch in 2012, the Barcelona-based brand has attracted unprecedented interest from would-be retail partners across the country.

And now, with a record 1.86% share of the UK new car market secured (full year, 2011 – source: SMMT) and confidence in the marque at an all-time high, seven new SEAT outlets – all in key strategic locations – have either just opened or are set to go ‘live’ soon.

For instance leading South Wales automotive retailer Sinclair Group, which already represents SEAT’s sister brands Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda, has opened a new showroom at its prestigious site in Gorseinon Road, Swansea.

Meanwhile, the highly successful Essex Auto Group has added a second SEAT franchise to its growing portfolio with the opening of a new outlet on the massive Lakeside retail complex in Thurrock. The Group already operates the thriving SEAT dealership in Southend-on-Sea.

Additionally, established SEAT retailer Dales has added a new showroom on the outskirts of Newquay to its existing site just off the A30 near Redruth to further boost the brand’s showing in the South West.

This flurry of new dealer launches comes hot-on-the-heels of two other openings in key areas. South Wales retailer Mon Motors Group opened its first SEAT franchise in Newport in late November and then Eastern Western Motor Group – among Scotland’s most successful privately-owned motor groups – opened its first SEAT dealership in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

But, as you’d expect from such a rapidly growing brand, there’s plenty more to come.

Snows Group – one of the leading dealer groups on the South Coast which already operates SEAT franchises in Southampton, Portsmouth and Poole – will add another dealership in Salisbury in February.

And Currie Motors, operator of Toyota and Lexus franchises in Middlesex and London, will open a new SEAT dealership in North East London in the first quarter of 2012.

Stephen Snow, Chairman of the highly successful Snows Group, said: ‘We’ve been a SEAT dealer for more than 20 years now and have seen the brand go from strength-to-strength since becoming part of the Volkswagen Group.

‘The SEAT model line-up is now stronger than it’s ever been and we’re really excited about the new models set for launch this year. It’s safe to say that, at the recent dealer conference, we were all totally blown away by the Mii and can’t wait for it to arrive in the UK.

‘The economic climate means there will be many challenges to come over the next 12 months but I’m confident 2012 is going to be a great year for Snows and for SEAT.’

Celebrating the string of important new dealership openings nationwide SEAT UK National Franchise Manager, Jason Cranswick, said: ‘The business case for SEAT is as compelling now as it has ever been.

‘Our 2011 sales records speak volumes about the growing appeal of the brand and with a determined focus on further improving both our service to our dealers, and their profitability, I think it’s easy to see why we are developing and strengthening our ties with some of the UK’s most successful dealer groups.’

He added: ‘There’s no question that 2012 will present significant challenges to the motor industry but with our highly desirable yet extremely affordable new model line-up in their showrooms I know our dealers will be best-placed to exploit the opportunities ahead.’