SPAIN: Seat launches eco model as it emerges from doldrums
Seat has produced its sixth million car at Martorell: a white Ibiza Ecomotive which the company boasts is its greenest car yet.
The launch comes as VW's Spanish subsidiary reported a EUR109m increase in nine month operating profits as its so-called 'Plan Mejora' [improvement plan] bore fruit.
Seat said it expects to deliver an operating profit in 2007 - a year earlier than expected - after a EUR49.1m loss in 2006.
Martorell, the site from which Seat axed 700 workers in 2006 (to huge controversy), has grown significantly since inaugurated in 1993, Seat said. It makes 2,000 cars per day compared to 1,500 units at its launch and assembles all of Seat's models except the Alahambra, which is made in with VW in a joint venture in Portugal.
The Ecomotive is Seat's 'most ecological' vehicle with an 80hp 1.4-litre turbodiesel emitting 99g/kilometre of CO2.
It is also fuel-efficient, consuming 3.8 litres/100 km. Seat said the car, which has a EUR14,000 sticker, is lighter than most Ibizas, weighing 1,084kg compared to from 1,106 kg for other models, making it more fuel efficient.
Seat sold 319,500 vehicles in the first nine months of 2007, 1.3% less than the year-ago period. However, its ability to raise average model prices helped offset the unit reduction, the company said.
Revenues reached EUR4.4bn. Seat would not disclose the period's profit or provide year-ago comparison figures.
The company did not return several phone calls seeking comment.