VW Group Ceased SEAT Brand

The day has come – the SEAT brand will be discontinued by the VW Group. This decision has been speculated upon for a long time; VW Group had been considering ending the SEAT brand, but it managed to survive until now. However, this announcement marks the final chapter for SEAT. SEAT will cease production of cars altogether at the end of the life cycle of the current-generation models (Source: Autocar). The future of the SEAT brand will focus on mobility solutions, such as electric scooters.

On the other hand, the CUPRA brand will continue to manufacture cars. CUPRA essentially represents the performance-oriented version of the SEAT brand.

Unfortunately, SEAT never managed to achieve millions in sales, and its brand image was somewhat confusing. Was SEAT meant to be an affordable alternative to Audi or a sportier version of Skoda? Additionally, SEAT cars often struggled to provide the same level of sales figures as other VW Group brands.

To be honest, I’m not surprised to hear that SEAT will be discontinued. My main concern now is what will happen to the people working for SEAT?

Photos // SEAT



SEAT recently launched some tongue-in-cheek animated cartoons. The first of the series is ‘Who needs a holiday, when you can just give your kid a phone?’ Basically, the first episode explains the ugly truth of the modern family life in a funny way.

The interesting part of the advertisement was the father. He has moustache and three kids. If the campaign was launched in the 1980s, it would perfectly fit the young family image. However, in 2015, a young father who is driving a SEAT and has a moustache? That’s a bit unusual.


New Volkswagen Golf

New Volkswagen Golf. I know you might be thinking, this Golf new why there is a new Golf. Volkswagen decided to replace the existing model in five-year time, instead of seven-year and this is mainly due to fundamental changes in the manufacturing strategy of Volkswagen. With the new modular MQBplatform, new Golf saved 100 kg. And also manufacturing costs are lower.
Anyway, let’s go back to new Golf. New Golf looks much better than the existing one, offers more aggressive look. And get rid of the conservative family hatchback. That was the only thing, I never liked with the Golf, conservative family hatchback. However, Seat and Audi offer more aggressive looking cars and I wanted to see an aggressive looking Golf. Hopefully, Volkswagen achieved this with the new Golf. In terms of interior design, new Golf is improved and the gap between the Audi is now razor thin.
The new Golf also offers more technology. Now Golf features multi-collision brake (Brakes the car after the accident occurs and prevents vehicle to move unintentionally), PreCrash system (Detects a potential crash and pre-tensions the seatbelts, closes windows and sunroof), radar guided Adaptive Cruise Control, city emergency brake (Brakes the vehicles, if the collision is impossible to avoid), XDS electronic differential lock, traffic sign recognition, 360-degree camera view for parking, lane assistant, fatigue detection system and five different driving profiles (Eco, Sport, Normal, Individual and Comfort) only available with adaptive chassis control system.
Basically, new Volkswagen Golf offers every new German technology with reasonable price tag. You have chance to buy a super high-tech Golf with a reasonable price and you don’t have to bear very high costs of upper segment.
Engines are 1.2-lt TSi petrol (85 PS), 1.4-lt TSi (140 PS) and diesel engines are 105 PS and 150 PS. All engines offers six and seven-speed DSG double clutch automatic gearbox.
The new Volkswagen is going to set a new benchmark for family hatchback segment and definitely capture many potential Audi A3 customers.
For more photos: Cars & Life Facebook Page

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New Seat Leon

New Seat Leon is finally revealed for 2013. Unlike previous model, new Seat Leon offers a distinctive design and sportive character is emphasised more! Also new Leon is 6 cm longer now and this definitely increase the legroom at the rear seats.
The interior of new Leon is way better than the previous model and offers premium quality like you can find in Volkswagen Golf. Unlike Golf, new Leon is not conservative and definitely heading for younger customers. This makes Leon more attractive than Golf and new model is a proper substitute as well!
New Seat Leon offers can detect if you fall asleep while driving, lane assist, full beam assist and other safety feature that is available in Volkswagen vehicles. Also new Seat Leon offers 7-speed double clutch DSG automatic gearbox (Go for it). Lastly, new Leon weighs 90 less than the previous model :)
New Seat Leon offers, 1.6-lt turbo diesel 90 PS and 105 PS with 250 Nm of torque. 2-lt turbo diesel with 150 PS, 320 Nm torque or 184 PS, 380 Nm of torque. Also super small 1.2-lt TSi engine is available with 86 PS and 105 PS, 1.4-lt TSi with 122 PS and 1.8-lt TSi with 180 PS.

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Seat Mii and Katerina Stikoudi Mi

Seat Mii is the new city car based on VW UP. Mii is small, spacious, well-built and great for city driving. Also Seat started to Mii’s advertisement on mass media. And recently, I found something interesting for Mii, a song. Greek singer Katerina Stikoudi recently released a new single called Mi. This Mi is not the same Mii, but they sound the same (Greek Mi means “don’t”). Unfortunately, Stikoudi did not realise this name similarity between her song and Seat’s new city car Mii, and in the video clip, there were no Seat Mii s.
It would definitely be a good idea to feature product placement for Seat Mii in Stikoudi’s song Mi.
If you are planning to record a single, try to check the opportunities.

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Seat, Katerina Stikoudi


New Seat Toledo is here!

New Seat Toledo is unrevealed today. I was waiting for the new Toledo for quite long time. Since the Seat revised their design concept, I was expecting to see the brand new Toledo with a unique design characteristic. And Seat achieved this!
Honestly, New Seat Toledo does not offer very aggressive design but, at the same time New Toledo offers unique details. Especially the angles of the A and C Pillars, rear stoplights are the key design items, which will help to distinguish Toledo from its competitors. On the other hand, Toledo looks a bit more conservative from the front. I was expecting see more aggressive front look. My assumption, Seat positions Toledo as a sport family sedan and expecting have different demographics for Toledo than Ibiza. And there is one thing I cannot ignore, New Toledo looks very high quality from exterior. In terms of numbers, new Toledo is 8cm longer than the previous model, which enables to increase the rear legroom!
As usual, Seat Toledo is packed up with Volkswagen technology. Current engine range starts from 1,2-lt petrol TSi engine (75 PS, 116g/km CO2), 1,4-lt petrol TSi (122 PS), 1,6-lt diesel  TDi (105 PS, 104g/km CO2). And in future there will be 90 PS diesel engine as well. I am more interested on the 1,2-lt petrol engine in Toledo, because new engine technology trend is focused on getting smaller and being stronger. Ford introduced the 1-lt petrol engine lowered the bar into a new level. I think in near future, we will see 1-lt engines from Volkswagen group as well. Anyway, New Toledo also offers double clutch automatic gearbox (DSG) through the engine range.
New Seat Toledo looks tempting for young families. Toledo looks nice, offer new technology and sportive. If you need extra space, Toledo would definitely satisfy you. Overall, Seat introduce a new benchmark for its brand! Me? I go for Ibiza ;)

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Mike Orford Appointed as the Porsche Head of PR

Mike Orford is appointed to Porsche as head of PR. As many people were searching for this, I decided to upload the press release. And congratulations to Mike :)
Porsche Cars Great Britain has appointed Mike Orford as its new Head of PR, with effect from July 2, 2012.
Mike will be responsible for all aspects of Porsche PR strategy in the UK comprising product, motorsport, corporate and heritage communications, and will report directly to Chris Craft, Managing Director.
Mike joins Porsche with over 10 years of PR experience, most recently at SEAT UK as Head of Press and Public Relations. Previously, he worked in the Volkswagen UK Press Office following five years as a motoring journalist.
Chris Craft, commenting on the appointment, said: “I am very pleased to have Mike on board in this important role. He brings with him a tremendous reputation from his time in the SEAT Press Office, which has become one of the highest rated automotive PR operations in the UK. Mike joins Porsche at a very exciting time for the company, and I look forward to working with him.”
Mike brings further experience to the established Porsche Press Office team of Nick Perry and Jo Davis, in their respective roles of Senior Press Officer and Press Officer.
The Reading-based 100% subsidiary of Porsche AG is responsible for the Porsche business in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and also owns the Porsche Retail Group which operates five Porsche Centres in the south of England

Interview with Mike Orford, Seat UK PR Manager

Last week I visited the Seat UK Head Office for an interview with Mike Orford, PR Manager. It was the sunniest interview I have ever made. The weather was like in Spain and totally matching with the Seat!
With Mike Orford, we talked about future of Seat, new Ibiza with amazing design touches by the former Lamborghini design director. Seat Ibiza’s fuel filler cap! The Ecomotive brand of Seat that is concentrated on low CO2 emissions and better fuel economy. Also I didn’t miss the Seat Mii, the new city car with amazing spacious interior, super-efficient 1-lt engine. And avoid congestion in London thanks to low CO2 level! 
Lastly, Mike talked about how he perceive the social media for automotive industry and how he manages the Seat UK’s Twitter account, which is started on 2009 after a MIPAA Social Media Workshop. And great explanation of the difference between marketing and public relations by Mike Orford; “marketing talked at customers and say the message, public relations engage with journalist and try to influence and put the best”.

And more!

Limits of creativity under pressure

Last year automotive industry was under heavy stress due to sudden loss of demand and they tried everything to survive in this economic jungle. Hopefully, world economy start to move on and demand to cars started to increase. Unfortunately, brands like Seat which is struggling to create a brand image on stakeholders. Even the Skoda manage to create its brand image and people know what Skoda is offering and they are not demanding more.
However Seat’s vehicle range has a serious problem of looking the same. Leon, Altea, Toledo are the same, I know that Seat dealer is defining the minor difference between which cannot be observed without an electron microscope. Also its price is not very competitive and people are reluctant to buy a Seat. The sales performance of Seat was a question mark in VW’s annual reports every year. Hopefully the new Ibiza is looking a proper small hatchback but the unclear brand image of Seat is still an obstacle to achieve a success.
A few days ago Seat introduced a new model, like WorldCarFans website I still expect this ridiculous car a joke. Seat Leon Ecomotive with 545lt, yes 545lt diesel tank and capable of doing 10 000 miles (16 900 km) with single fill. In order to produce this pointless car, Seat removed the rear seat and place this huge tank. And driver will be coupled with exquisite smell of diesel while driving and also extra of nearly five hundred kilos. This car cannot be filled in normal petrol station and driver should visit the workshop for filling. As Seat mentioned, this car will help to save time for fuelling! Instead of filling your car in petrol station your lungs will be filled with diesel essence.
I am still expecting to hear that, this car is a joke. The shock of economic crisis and dissatisfying performance of sales forced Seat engineers to find something totally pointless :( I think Seat will not offer any smoker option in this car ;)

Pictures are taken from;
Worldcarfans Website


Luxury bed for cars: Hästens

Car manufacturers like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes and other luxury brands are offering various different brands to increase the state of luxury in their vehicles. Mostly they are focused on sound systems! However I have never seen any specific brand for seats. Why seats? Because, driver and passengers are sitting on them all the time. And I did some research and I found out a great brand which can be used in luxury vehicles seats. It is Swedish bed manufacturer Hästens :) Yes, they manufacture bed they don’t have seats but their technology and know-how can be used for making car seat :)
Today’s luxury cars are offering everything for the passengers but I did not see very significant feature for seats, except massage and dynamic contours. By working with Hästens, manufacturers can offer different types of seat for more comfort. And to make more sleepy :) Hopefully there are many technologies to prevent crash nowadays :)