Volkswagen Group may build a Seat sports utility vehicle at Skoda's Kvasiny site in Czech Republic, sources told Automotive News. The SUV would be built alongside the next-generation Skoda Yeti compact SUV at the site, where production costs are significantly lower than at Seat’s Martorell site in Spain. Seat currently lacks an SUV or a crossover model, which are selling very well in Europe.
VW Group has yet to green-light the SUV for Seat as it is still determining whether the struggling Spanish subsidiary can afford to add the model. Seat president Juergen Stackmann remarked that the SUV would be an important strategic building block in its product offensive in Europe.
Stackmann told Automobilwoche that Seat is working on an SUV that would "fit the brand and develop another European sub-segment" for the carmaker.
Seat has been experiencing a surge in sales since rolling out the new Leon compact car range, which includes three- and five-door hatchbacks as well as a station wagon. Seat's Leon, Toledo compact and Mii minicar models allowed the carmaker to hike its sales by 10 percent to 242,487 units in the first 10 months of 2013 in EU and EFTA countries in a market that dropped 3 percent during the period, according to industry association ACEA.
Media reports had indicated that a Seat SUV could integrate styling elements seen in the Seat IBX concept unveiled at the 2011 Geneva auto show. The reports also said that the SUV would be underpinned by VW Group’s MQB modular platform, which also underpins the Leon, Audi A3 and VW Golf.