Seat’s new Exeo [a well-equipped D-segment sedan] not only takes the brand into a new market segment, it also gives its UK unit new opportunities to raise its brand awareness, according to director Peter Wyhinny.

“Our biggest challenge is awareness. We only have 15% spontaneous awareness among the buying public which gives us a great opportunity because it means there is a whole bunch of people out there who haven’t heard of us yet,” he said.

The launch on 2 April and the ST wagon version following in late summer will help put a new focus on the brand, Wyhinny said, describing the car as “an emotional A4”.

Although based on the previous generation Audi A4, Seat engineers have found a way of getting the Spanish carmaker’s DNA into it, the automaker claimed. “Exeo has Seat dynamics which are always at the sporty end of each segment,” said Wyhinny.

“It’s allowed us to get into the segment very quickly – in less than two years from making the decision – and very cost effectively.

“In the same way that Skoda ‘s Superb has matured, so will the Exeo. It’s an important car for us because it gives us something to offer people who have outgrown Seat,” Wyhinny added.

The car was shown to the dealer network last week and they left “feeling very positive about it,” he said.