Seat to build new city car

  • City car to be based on VW Up!
  • Tribu 4x4 concept car could be built, too
  • Mondeo rival before the end of the year as well
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Seat is to expand its range by building a new city car and family car, and possibly put its Tribu 4x4 concept car into production.

At the moment, Seat feels it is too reliant on its core models. 'We have to reduce our reliance on Ibiza and Leon,' said Frank Bekemier, Seat's vice-president of research and development. These two cars account for 70% of Seat's sales.

To do that, it's going to build a new city car, based on the forthcoming Volkswagen Up!, although there's no word on when that might happen.

More immediately, we'll see a new family car - a rival for the Ford Mondeo, Renault Laguna and Peugeot 407, which will go on sale early next year in both saloon and estate forms. It will be based on the outgoing Audi A4 chassis.

Seat is also close to deciding whether to build the Tribu 4x4 concept car, first seen at the Frankfurt motor show last year. It would use many of the parts from the VW Tiguan, and take on rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

Quality drive
Seat is also promising a big improvement in quality through 'reliability, precision and perception'.

Seat president Erich Schmitt said: 'We have improved in all three areas - our faults per 1000 have dropped from 37 in 2002 to 4.3 last year.' It's the biggest improvement in the industry in that time, he added.

Part of the improvements will also include improving Seat's dealers. Daily parts forums between manufacturer and dealers and improving the quality of ancillary components are all part of the plan.