Seat bids to cut working hours at its Spanish sites

Article by Anita Panait, on July 10, 2013

Spanish carmaker Seat is requesting to have workers at its Martorell and Zona Franca sites stay at home on rotating basis due to weak demand for its vehicles. Seat wants 571 workers daily to stay at home between September and December 2013, when it plans to implement production stoppages for 16 days on one of its lines.

The stoppage will affect 2,800 workers. Seat also plans to stop production for 35 days in 2014 on another line, affecting 3,800 workers. Seat said in a statement that the measures are aimed at guaranteeing "the continuation" of all workers as well as an adequate relationship between production and demand for their products.

Seat has presented its stoppage proposals to unions and the Catalonian regional government, adding that it would hold a 15-day consultation period.

Seat managed to half its net loss to EUR30 million in 2012 and hike revenue by 20.6 percent to EUR6.1 billion, thanks to high demand for the Audi Q3, which the carmaker produces at its Martorell site. Seat has been struggling against weak demand in southern European countries. Car sales in Spain dropped 0.7 percent year-on-year in June 2013.

With the new Q3, Audi is making its moves into the premium compact sport utility vehicle segment. As an Audi, the new Q3 is athletic, sporty, luxurious and comfortable, as well as versatile whether on or off the road. As expected, every element of the new Q3 – its body, drivetrain, chassis and assistance systems and multimedia features -- represents the carmaker’s technology as adopted from the luxury class.

At a glance, it is easy to tell that the new Audi Q3 is a member of the Audi family – its youngest one. This is thanks to a number of cues such as its coupe-like lines, sharp edges, arched sheet metal surfaces as well as characteristic lights both on the front and rear. The wedge-shaped headlights could be optionally availed with xenon plus units and LED daytime running lights, as matched with LED rear lights.

Moreover, the new Audi Q3 has a low roof line that tapers early as well as flat D-pillars. Two exterior packages are available while the add-on parts could be finished in black, anthracite or body color.

Interestingly, the base version of Audi’s new compact SUV only has a weight of 1,445 kg (3,186 lbs). Overall, the new Audi Q3 measures 4.39 meters (14.40 ft) in length, 1.83 meters (6.00 ft) in width and 1.59 meters (5.22 ft) in height. With these dimensions, the new Audi has a very aerodynamic body, with a coefficient of drag value of just 0.32 Cd.

The occupant cell of the new Audi Q3 employs a number of ultra-high-strength steels while its engine hood and tailgate are made from aluminum. Just like Audi’s other Q models, the new Q3 features undivided tail lights integrated into the tailgate, which in turn wraps around the pillars.

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Topics: seat, spain

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