VW-Group owned SEAT has begun assembling the Ateca at the multi-brand plant in Algeria owned by the Volkswagen Group and Sovac, the VW Group’s importer in Algeria. The plant is located in Relizane, 280 kms south-west of the capital Algiers. The Ateca SUV will be on sale starting this week through SEAT dealerships in Algeria.

With the addition of the Ateca compact SUV, there are now four SEAT models being assembled in this North African country (Ibiza, Arona, Leon and Ateca) exclusively for the Algerian market. Furthermore, assembly of the Leon Cupra has also begun in Relizane (and it is the most powerful car being assembled in Algeria).

The expanded model line-up quadrupled SEAT Algerian sales from January to October, to a total of 16,800 cars.

Since the inauguration of Algeria´s Relizane car assembly plant 60,000 cars have been assembled there, including 28,000 SEAT brand vehicles. The models currently being assembled at the Algerian plant are the SEAT Ibiza, Arona, Leon and Ateca, the Skoda Octavia and Rapid, the Volkswagen Polo, Golf, Tiguan and Passat, as well as the Volkswagen Caddy.

SEAT vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr Christian Vollmer said: “The Relizane plant’s flexible capacity is to assemble vehicles of different Volkswagen Group brands. Currently, eleven models are being assembled, four of them SEAT: Ibiza, Arona, Leon and Ateca. It’s a major responsibility for us to lead the Volkswagen Group’s expansion in North Africa, and at the same time, it’s a clear example of the globalisation strategy we have undertaken. In order to grow internationally, SEAT must rely on a global production network.”

North Africa, a strategic region for SEAT’s expansion

Last June, SEAT was designated to lead the Volkswagen Group’s growth in North Africa, a decision that is framed within the company’s strategy to decentralise its structure with the aim of gaining in speed and efficiency. SEAT’s mission is to coordinate the strategy of the Group and on-site brands in the region, identify synergies and foster partnerships with other companies.

In this sense, SEAT executives, led by the vice-president for Production Dr Christian Vollmer and the vice-president for Purchasing Klaus Ziegler, are scheduled to visit the different countries in the region to explore new business opportunities. According to Klaus Ziegler, “North Africa is a very attractive region for SEAT and the Volkswagen Group for the synergies that can be created with our production centres in the Iberian Peninsula and with the supplier network as well. For this reason, we want to contribute to the development of new suppliers in the region, and in particular, to Algeria so it can enhance its industrial footprint.”

North Africa is described as a key geographic area in SEAT’s globalisation strategy. The company is seeking to increase its presence outside Europe and Algeria plays an essential role in this strategy, it says. Algeria is one of the markets with the highest sales volumes for SEAT, which also has a ‘robust presence’ in other countries of the region, it says.