Arona set to boost Seat fleet success further
Strong growth in Seat’s fleet sales in 2017 is set to be bolstered even further by the introduction of its new Arona compact SUV.
True fleet sales were up 58% year-on-year to the end of September, to almost 10,000 units, and the brand is expecting to reach 15,000 in 2017. That exceeds its 37% uplift in total fleet volumes, and a 20% growth overall (to 44,237 units) in what it said are proving to be challenging market conditions. The company is on a roll.
And Arona will only help continue that growth. As Peter McDonald, head of fleet sales for Seat UK told Fleet World: “We think the compact SUV segment is currently an immature market, which is changing. But we expect Arona to be our third or fourth best-selling model, after Leon and Ateca, vying with Ibiza, in terms of sales.
“For the same reasons that the midsize SUV market grew, on the back of Qashqai and other competitors entering the space, with customers downsizing from saloons, we expect something similar with this size and shape of vehicle. We expect the market to grow.”
McDonald credited the success that Seat has seen in the fleet market this year to an approach that aims to make the company easier to work with. “The biggest initiative this year has been the four-day test drive programme. We think test drives of vehicles are really important and we want to offer fleet customers that service.
“People can apply by phone or online, then we supply a car to their home or workplace for four days. It’s led to about 2,000 incremental test drives and we’ve seen sales benefits. We’ve received incredibly good feedback from customers, because it makes people’s lives easier.”
The company is also about to add a whole-life cost calculator to its website and is aiming to further improve its handover process, which includes introductory sessions for new drivers that use a VR headset to help them get used to the controls and features of their new car.
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