Volkswagen has confirmed it will introduce a new SUV into the line-up of spanish subsidiary, Seat, in 2016.
"This is an excellent piece of news, since it takes Seat into a new territory, in one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the world," Seat Chairman Juergen Stackmann said in a statement.
In Europe alone, the compact SUV market represents nearly 1 million sales each year - almost equal to Australia’s total market sales in 2013 - and has grown by more than 40 percent in the past five years.
As the group’s only unprofitable division, a push into the popular SUV market could help Seat contribute to Volkswagen’s goal of becoming the world’s number one carmaker by 2018.
“The SUV is an important pillar in the future corporate strategy and is a major step forward on the road to reaching sustainable profitability for the company,” Stackmann said.
Seat has not turned a profit since 2007, although it has narrowed its losses from 156 million euros to 152 million euros in 2013.
Deliveries for the brand grew 11 percent 355,000 in 2013, thanks largely to demand in the UK and Germany.
The brand is also understood to be considering a production base in China - now the world’s largest car market - where it began importing cars in 2012.
A return to Australia is not expected however, with the company instead focused on re-establishing the brand in Europe, and growing opportunies in emerging markets.
Pictured: the 2011 Seat IBX concept.
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