SEAT has allocated €900m to investments and R&D expenses on the new Ibiza and Arona. Company President Luca de Meo made this announcement during the visit to the carmaker’s Martorell facilities by Catalonia’s Government President Carles Puigdemont, coinciding with the start of series production of the new SEAT Ibiza.
De Meo explained that the total amount of investments and R&D expenses has largely been allocated to the development of both models and to adapting the Martorell factory to accommodate production of these cars.
The money is a part of a global investment of €3.3b announced in September 2015 for the 2015-2019 period.
According to Mr de Meo, the investment demonstrates the company’s commitment to the economic development of the country and confirms its leadership as the largest industrial investor in R&D.
“We are investing unprecedented figures for the launch of new models,” he added.
“SEAT plays a key role in terms of investment, technology, industry and employment, as well as in generating wealth and prosperity”.
Wholly developed in Barcelona, the new Ibiza is being built on Line 1 in Martorell, the factory which produces the most vehicles in Spain, and it will coexist for a few months with the fourth generation of the model.
Built using the new MQB A0 platform, the new Ibiza aims to mark an ambitious turning point in terms of safety, design, performance and comfort.
Beginning in the second half of 2017, this same production line will also accommodate the assembly of the SEAT Arona, the company’s new compact crossover. In addition, Martorell also manufactures the SEAT Leon and the Audi Q3.
“Being the first to use the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB A0 platform is a milestone for SEAT and for the Martorell factory,” Mr de Meo continued, before pointing out that the technology gives greater flexibility as it enables the company to build several models with different body types on the same platform.
“In addition, by concentrating production volume in a single segment, with the Ibiza now and later with the Arona and the Audi A1, this is excellent news for the auxiliary industry as purchasing volumes by national suppliers will increase.”
With over 5.4 million units sold since its launch in 1984, the Ibiza is SEAT’s most emblematic and best-selling model in its history.
Sales of the fifth-generation Ibiza kicked off on 7 April and it will reach dealerships in June. The new Ibiza reflects the culmination of a consolidation phase and the beginning of a new period of growth, which coincides with the year when SEAT is launching its largest ever product offensive.