Seat was initially hailed as VWâ€™s savior in southern China, traditionally a market that VW has always underperformed in Southern China when compared to the local automotive giants that are in partnership with the Japanese giants of Toyota and Honda.
VW aimed to set up a factory producing funky new Seat cars that were all set to appeal to young relatively wealthy Cantonese who traditionally preferred Japanese brands to VW models, but it appears that VWâ€™s plans for Seat have so far been shelved.
VW believes that the lack of factories in the south of China is the major upset for a lack of sales in the region and has pushed its joint venture partners, FAW and SAIC to open factories in the southern regions. FAW-VW have planned to establish their factory in Guangdongâ€™s Fushan city, aka the home of Kung-fu, whilst Shanghai-VW have planned to put their factory directly into the center of Guangdongâ€™s capital city, Guangzhou.
The reasoning behind the shelving of Seat China is not entirely clear, but it does appear to be due to VW wanting to get its factories set up and further establish the Skoda brand in China before reaching into its inner portfolio to launch more new brands in China. Another reason being cited for delaying the introduction of Seat into China is Seatâ€™s large small car line up which would go directly against VWâ€™s recent small car line up of the Bora, Lavida, Golf and Polo.
China was going to be Seatâ€™s last big chance, with it loosing $430million in Europe alone last year and is VWâ€™s, and Europeâ€™s, weakest selling brand, it could be that VW silently gives Seat the Luger treatment before it even makes it to the Orient.