Leon launched with five-door hatchback; three-door and a five-door wagon will be unveiled in 2013

Leon launched with five-door hatchback; three-door and a five-door wagon will be unveiled in 2013

Volkswagen's troubled, loss-making Spanish unit SEAT spent EUR800m on R&D and production facilities ahead of the start of production of the redesigned Leon hatchback at its factory in Martorell, near Barcelona, Spain.

The Leon, unveiled at September's Paris show, will, the automaker said, "drive the international expansion of SEAT and will increase production at the Martorell plant, where it will be built alongside the Ibiza, Altea, and Exeo - together with the Audi Q3.

The five-door hatchback, which shares its platform with the latest VW Golf and Audi A3, is the first of a new Leon model family which, by 2014, will include a three-door variant and a five-door estate/wagon. This mimics the thinking behind the smaller Ibiza range and will, SEAT said, help the Leon "become a key competitor in the compact [C] segment in Europe - which accounts for 38% of total car sales.

SEAT said the new MQB modular transverse platform, provides "a significant reduction in manufacturing time compared with the second generation Leon".

The platform also offers greater flexibility, enabling production of the three versions of the Leon as well as Altea variants all on the same line. SEAT has also adapted its manufacturing processes to ensure the highest levels of precision and quality, by the use of latest-generation methods such as laser welding and measurement, as well as hot stamping.

Production of the new Leon is claimed to have secured 1,600 jobs on the Martorell assembly line and over 6,000 in the supply chain.

Production chief Andreas Tostmann said: "With the new Leon we have increased productivity by 10% and become more flexible, thus guaranteeing optimisation of production costs."

Together, the first two generations of the Leon achieved total global sales of 1.2m units beginning with 1999's original model and continuing with the 2005 full redesign.

Sales begin this year in Europe with right hand drive UK sales starting early in 2013, the year that also will see the global motor show debuts of the three-door and estate versions.

The Leon is the first in its class to offer full LED headlights as an option.

It is 90kg lighter and 52mm shorter than its predecessor, improving fuel consumption and handling, yet it has more interior passenger space and luggage capacity. All models have start/stop technology for greater efficiency - on average using 15% less fuel than the previous generation.

Show the press release

 

SEAT Invests £650m in New Leon Production

SEAT has started production of the new Leon hatchback at its factory in Martorell,

Spain. The all-new model is the result of an overall investment of 800 million euros (c.

GBP650m), primarily in vehicle research and development, and production facilities.

 

 

 

    The stunning new SEAT Leon

[http://www.seat.co.uk/content/uk/brand/en/models/new-leon/discover.html ], which was

unveiled at September's Paris Motor Show, will drive the international expansion of SEAT

and will increase production at the Martorell plant, where it will be built alongside the

Ibiza, Altea, and Exeo - together with the Audi Q3.

 

 

 

    The five-door hatchback is the first of the new Leon model family, which by 2014 will

include a sleek three-door variant and a practical five-door estate. This approach mimics

the blueprint of the hugely successful Ibiza range, and will help the Leon become a key

competitor in the compact segment in Europe - which accounts for 38% of total car sales.

 

 

 

    The production of the new Leon is not only great news for family car buyers, it's also

a big boost to the economy, ensuring 1,600 jobs on the Martorell production line plus more

than 6,000 throughout the supply chain.

 

 

 

    Dr. Andreas Tostmann, SEAT Executive Vice President for Production, said: "With the

new Leon we have increased productivity by 10% and become more flexible, thus guaranteeing

optimisation of production costs."

 

 

 

    Together, the first two generations of the Leon achieved total global sales of 1.2

million units, beginning with 1999's original model and continuing with 2005's

second-generation car. SEAT expects a continuation of this success story when sales of the

all-new car begin this year in Europe. UK sales begin early 2013 - a year that will also

see the global motor show debuts of the three-door and estate versions.

 

 

 

    The new SEAT Leon is underpinned by the Volkswagen Group's latest MQB modular

transverse platform, providing a significant reduction in manufacturing time compared with

the second generation Leon.

 

 

 

    The platform also offers greater flexibility, enabling production of the three

versions of the Leon as well as Altea variants all on the same line. SEAT has also adapted

its manufacturing processes to ensure the highest levels of precision and quality, by the

use of latest-generation technologies such as laser welding and measurement, as well as

hot stamping.

 

 

 

    The new Leon is the first all-new production vehicle to display SEAT's latest design

language, and signals an enormous step forward for the brand, equipped with a host of

ground-breaking technology for improved safety and enhanced connectivity; it is the first

in its class to offer full LED headlights as an option.

 

 

 

    It is 90 kilograms lighter and 52 millimetres shorter than its predecessor, improving

fuel consumption and handling, yet it has more interior passenger space and luggage

capacity. Every new Leon from launch is equipped with Start/Stop technology for greater

efficiency - on average it consumes 15% less fuel than the previous generation.

 

 

 

    About SEAT:

 

 

 

    SEAT is the only company in its sector with the full-range capacity to design,

develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the

multinational car manufacturer [http://www.seat.co.uk/content/uk/brand/en.html ] has its

headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting approximately 80% of its vehicles to 75

countries. SEAT is the market leader in Spain, and in 2011 had a total turnover of more

than 5.0 billion euros, with overall deliveries amounting to 350,000 units.

 

 

 

    SEAT Group employs more than 14,000 professionals at its three production centres in

Barcelona - Zona Franca, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the

highly successful Ibiza and Leon, amongst other family cars

[http://www.seat.co.uk/content/uk/brand/en/models/leon/discover.html ]. The Volkswagen

Group production facility at Palmela in Portugal supplies the SEAT Alhambra and the

factory in Bratislava (Slovakia) manufactures the SEAT Mii.

 

Original source: SEAT media