Seat plans more dealerships

* UK MD wants 12 more dealerships * Needs dealership in Manchester, more in Edinburgh & London * New Seat based on VW Up coming in 2012...

Seat plans more dealerships

Seat plans to continue expanding its UK dealer network to bring showrooms and service points closer to more owners and potential buyers.

The company has its strongest UK dealer network ever 122 after a major expansion programme last year, but Seat UK managing director Peter Wyhinny wants to add around another 12 outlets.

'There were areas where we weren't represented, like a little village called Manchester,' he said, 'and there are still parts of the country where we are under-strength.' Wyhinny cites Edinburgh and London as just two of the areas where Seat could do with more dealers.

Seat enjoyed a record market share of 1.6% in the UK last year, but Wyhinny believes this can be almost doubled with an expansion of the dealer network, even without major new product introductions.

'We are only scratching the surface of what we can do with the current cars. We haven't run out of steam. There is no reason we couldn't do between 2.5% and 3% of the UK market. The challenge is to get ourselves on people's shopping lists,' he said.

Seat will have a quiet year for new model introductions in 2011, but it will add a small city car based on the forthcoming Volkswgen Up in 2012 to expand its range to six models.

Wyhinny says a 4x4 is 'one of those things (Seat) wouldn't rule out' as another model in the future.