Seat thinks that more demand will be generated for the Ibiza if it gets an extensive redesign and additional features. Selling more Ibizas is crucial to the Spanish brand as this subcompact made up 55% of the Volkswagen Group subsidiary's 350,009 sales last year. At the press launch of the Ibiza, Ulf Eberhardt, Seat's head of product marketing, said, "The Ibiza is Seat and Seat is the Ibiza.”
Market researcher JATO Dynamics said that in Europe, the current Ibiza (the third-generation of the car) was on the market since 2008, making up 52% of the 311,217 units sold by Volkswagen Group subsidiary in 2011. Seat is relying on an aggressive product campaign that covers the facelifted Ibiza, the new Mii minicar and the next-generation Leon so that the brand would earn profits by 2013.
Seat posted a 225 million euro operating loss last year -- an improvement over the 311 million euro loss in 2010. Seat said that most of the buyers of the subcompact are in their 30s and 40s. Eberhardt said that the updated Ibiza will still appeal to these consumers since its new design is emphasized with the addition of optional LED daytime running lights and LED taillights.
Seat head of product management Wilko Stark said that the optional LEDs enable Seat to have a unique light signature that makes the Ibiza an instant stand-out. This extra upgrade to the new Ibiza is the option to allow music streaming into the car from satellite radio stations by using the Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.
The revised Ibiza will begin to arrive at dealerships in Europe this month but the infotainment feature would be launched only in September or October. Seat also wants the station wagon variant of the new Ibiza to appeal to younger couples who have small children.