In the Volkswagen Group consolidation, the SEAT brand reported an operating result for fiscal year 2008 of €-78 million (2007: €+8 million). The SEAT brand comprises SEAT S.A., subsidiaries in the Province of Barcelona and sales companies in Spain, Portugal and Germany.
Based on Spanish financial reporting rules, SEAT, S.A. posted an operating result for 2008 of €-141 million (2007: €+44 million). Taking into account other income and taxes, the operating result was €+44 million (2007: €+170 million).
In fiscal year 2008, the SEAT brand delivered some 368,000 vehicles to customers (2007: 431,000). Sales revenue amounted to €4.81 billion (2007: 5.57 billion). Expenditure for research and development, investments in new products, production plant and improved processes rose 10.7 percent to a record level of €558 million (2007: €504 million), of which €478 million alone was accounted for by investments (2007: €400 million).
In 2008, SEAT launched the latest generation of its volume model with the new Ibiza and the new Ibiza SC, which received an excellent reception from the trade and the general public alike. The low-consumption Ibiza Ecomotive model and the new mid-class Exeo sedan were presented for market launch in early 2009. With the Exeo, SEAT is extending its product offering into the important D segment (Germany: B segment).
"In 2008, we made significant progress with regard to our products. The new Ibiza represents a quantum leap in terms of precision and quality for SEAT. The Exeo opens the door to further market segments," Erich Schmitt, President of SEAT, commented at the Annual Press Conference in Martorell.
Thanks to the new models SEAT won as much as one percent in market share on individual markets such as Austria. On its home market of Spain, where the automaker sells one quarter of its products, SEAT also grew market share slightly to 8.8 percent (+0.1%). The company's competitive strength could not, however, prevent the general downturn in demand in Western Europe, and Spain in particular, from impacting on SEAT's delivery figures. SEAT is responding to the general market situation with the continuation of its model rollout.
"Customers want attractive, top quality vehicles regardless of whether times are good or bad. That is why we are launching ten new models that suit customers' tastes this year and thereby positioning ourselves for better times," Erich Schmitt pointed out.
He added: "And next year we will be launching the third variant of our successful Ibiza model, a wagon version, which we will be producing here in Martorell. This will be the Ibiza ST."
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