Like the broader debt crisis in Europe, Volkswagen’s weak link has its origins in Spain. According to Reuters, Seat has incurred losses of $1 billion since 2008, and has been profitable only once over the past decade.
Seat is hampered by the twin forces of product overlap and a Spanish economy that’s rapidly circling the drain. A former Peugeot official is quoted as asking the question on everyone’s mind
One thing Seat does have is the youngest buyer demographic of all the VW group brands. VW is hoping that China and Russia will be lucrative markets for Seat, if Spain and the rest of Europe aren’t going to come through. The under-utilized capacity at Seat plants is at least being put to good use, building in-demand products like the Audi Q3 small crossover.
Volkswagen seems to be committed to helping Seat avoid the same fate as Opel – but many observers would rather see it die on the vine. What do you say, B&B?