Seat is inching into China but will need local assembly for volume sales

Seat is inching into China but will need local assembly for volume sales

VW's Seat division made its Chinese debut at the Shanghai show with a modest display sandwiched between the vast Volkswagen and Audi stands and opposite Skoda.

Company president James Muir said: "The Chinese market offers a great opportunity for a brand like ours. Seat is synonymous with design, being young in spirit and sportiness - attributes which are greatly appreciated in this market.

"Our research shows that Chinese car buyers value performance and dynamism. Furthermore, technology and state-of-the-art engineering are important to them and they are very design-conscious."

Sales of Ibiza and Leon models, built at the automaker's under-utilised Martorell plant near Barcelona, where the Audi Q3 small SUV has just been added to prop up output, are due to start in 2012. The VW Group's other three volume brands all have joint venture production facilities in China.