At the Guangzhou Auto Show this week, SEAT outlined the brand’s plan for expansion in China. After announcing the commencement of operations in the country at the Shanghai show last April, SEAT has already signed off different agreements to open a network of 12 dealerships, and in the next few weeks will close new deals which will enable the company to begin sales in China with a total number of 15 dealerships.

The sales and marketing network will cover China’s main cities – including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongquing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

The Leon and Ibiza, SEAT’s bets for China

At its first appearance at the Guangzhou Auto Show, the Spanish brand displayed the Ibiza and the Leon, the two models it will be marketing from 2012 on. The Leon will be available from next Spring, and the Ibiza during the second half of the year. Additionally, the brand presented the SEAT Alhambra, as well as the three concept cars it has unveiled over the past twelve months – the IBL saloon, the SUV IBX and the sport coupé IBE – all together for the first time at a motor show.

A first for Guangzhou and Beijing

Coinciding with the first day at the Guangzhou Motor Show, SEAT laid the foundation stone of its future dealership in that city, which will open its doors in 2012. Paul Sevin, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing, highlighted “the symbolic meaning of this act, representing our arrival in China”. Sevin added that “SEAT aspires to be among the most prominent imported brands in the Chinese market”, and stressed that “China, together with other countries like Russia and Mexico, will contribute to increasing exports and the growth of our sales over the next few years”.

The company is currently working on the preparations for the remainder of the sales and marketing network, as well as the hiring and training of staff to get the dealerships up and running by Spring 2012. Likewise, SEAT has opened its headquarters in China, in Beijing’s financial district, currently manned by a staff of some 20 persons.

In China SEAT will also present a new concept of dealerships for the first time, including a more modern style, providing customer-oriented service. This innovation, to be launched at Chinese dealerships, will expand down the line to cover SEAT’s sales and marketing worldwide network, providing customers with a new experience involving all five senses.

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