Category Archives: Automotive Financial Services

Redpoint Insurance Group Acquires Safeway County Mutual Insurance

Dallas, TX, July 03, 2015 — /EPR AUTOMOTIVE NEWS/ — Redpoint Insurance Group, LLC today announced the acquisition of control of Safeway County Mutual Insurance Company in Dallas, TX. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Safeway County Mutual Insurance will operate under the name Redpoint County Mutual Insurance Company.

Redpoint County Mutual will specialize in writing private passenger and commercial automobile insurance in the state of Texas. The Company will be headquartered in Dallas, Texas with administrative offices in Austin, Texas. Christopher A. McClellan, the CEO of Redpoint Insurance Group will serve as CEO and President of Redpoint County Mutual. Wyatt Blackburn, the President of Redpoint Insurance Group will serve as the Treasurer of Redpoint County Mutual.

“We are excited to enter the Texas automobile insurance market – one of the strongest and most dynamic insurance markets in the United States. Redpoint County Mutual will partner with a select group of independent managing general agencies to provide a host of automobile insurance options to Texas consumers. We are committed to providing quality coverage and exceptional service to our policyholders and agents.” -Christopher A. McClellan, CEO

Redpoint Insurance Group is an insurance holding company headquartered in Dallas, TX. Redpoint’s principal affiliates now include Redpoint County Mutual Insurance Company and Redpoint Workers’ Compensation. Further detail is available at www.RedpointInsurance.com.

Contact-Details:
Chelsea Beagles
Public Relations Director
cbeagles@redpointinsurance.com
(469) 249-1008

 

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Car insurance plan is all about creating a new revolution in the vehicle industry

The Indian urban transport system is undergoing a face lift. Many small budget cars such as Nano and others have become very popular among vehicle owners in India. Automobile companies are consistently introducing new cars and motorbikes that meet precise requirements of Indian consumers. However, this has also resulted in increase in the number of car accidents. Vehicle owners are also experience problems with traffic jams, parking space and a lot more. Safety is the major concern.

For safety of vehicle, one needs to buy a comprehensive Car insurance plan. Motor insurance plan is important to cover various dangers a vehicle may encounter. Most of the risks covered include the ones caused by natural as well as man-made calamities. Get a vehicle insured is the primary source of keeping risks away from a vehicle. However, it is crucial to understand more about the best Vehicle insurance companies before investing in a plan.

In India, car insurance plan and the companies are managed by the Indian Motor Tariff. Hence, the cover offered will remain the same regardless of where one buys it from. Additionally, the Car insurance plan is compulsory as per the law. It should also be renewed each year.

There are many things to consider before buying a car insurance plan. One needs to know about the premium rates. The company will ask for records and details such as gender, age, gender, payments made in the past etc. These factors influence the premium rate.

Using quotes will also help in getting an idea on rates and cover facilities offered. Studying the costs and coverage offered by the companies in detail is important.

“Comparing quotes will make sure one gets the best rate and cover facilities offered by various reputed companies in India” states Insurance Experts.

It is crucial to check the reputation of the insurance company prior to buying the insurance plan. The research will help in reaching out to the best company in India.

Accidents cannot be foreseen. Getting a car insurance plan from one of the best vehicle insurance companies such as ICICI Lombard or Bajaj Allianz can help customers ensure car security under all conditions.

Buying car insurance plan from one of the most reputed vehicle insurance companies can help in securing the vehicle and ensure adept financial help in case of an emergency. Buying a car insurance policy after weighing all the pros and cons can definitely help a car owner ensure safety of their vehicle. Moreover, these plans are mandatory for vehicle owners in India by law.

I am renowned Insurance Agent, presently working for the venerated survey company for the contribution of Facts & Figures for the reports & statistics. Previously, I have been active member for many government schemes concerning Auto Insurance in India.

Contact Details: Kerala, 3622902, devikapandit19@gmail.comwww.insuranceexperts.in

 

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SEAT Offers 3 Years Of Worry-Free Motoring

SEAT Ireland has unveiled a quintet of special offers to take the stress out of buying a new car in 2013. The SEAT brand is enjoying a renaissance in Ireland, with two new models set to arrive in showrooms in the coming months: the generously-proportioned new Toledo, which goes on sale in November, and an all-new Leon, due to arrive in 2013.

However, SEAT customers won’t have to wait to avail of a host of new car offers. Buyers of all new SEAT cars from the newly revamped range can avail of 3% finance, one of the lowest rates available from any lender, as well as 3 years of free servicing which will take much of the worry out of both purchasing and owning a new car in 2013. Additionally, SEAT is offering 3 years roadside assistance, a 3 year car warranty and, for cars ordered before December 21st, there will be 3,000km of free fuel.

“In these challenging times customers will naturally look for a value proposition and we were able to realign all of our product range and add 10-15% of additional value either through price reductions or additional specification,” said Adam Chamberlain, Brand Director of SEAT Ireland. “Now, alongside a great product proposition, consumers have got very strong offers to allow them to have worry-free motoring for 3 years. Our cars are now more affordable and with these offers the SEAT range now offers truly great cars at great prices.”

More information can be found at www.seat.ie.

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SEAT Leon to debut at Paris Motor Show

SEAT is set to unveil the most important new model in its recent history at the 2012 Mondial de l’Automobile – the all-new Leon.

Combining effortless beauty with greater practicality than its two preceding generations, the new Leon is the most advanced car that SEAT has ever produced and a landmark for the Spanish company. The introduction of the new Leon makes the 2012 Paris Motor Show an epoch-defining event for SEAT, during which the first of a new model family is introduced – a family that will extend the Leon’s reach further than ever before.

And with the official introduction of the new, production-ready Toledo hatchback, SEAT really does have compact family car segment covered. The new Toledo boasts an incredible amount of cabin space and a 550-litre boot, wrapped in a compact body shell and with a price that’s more supermini than family car.

Alongside the two new cars, SEAT will also display the exciting Mii FR Line Concept. First shown at the 2012 GTI Treffen event in Worthersee, Austria, the Mii FR Line Concept alludes to how the city car could look were it to become available in FR trim.

Finally, the Paris Motor Show represents the official market introduction of SEAT’s new corporate identity, which brings a more modern, streamlined look to the existing ‘S’ logo found on the grille and tailgate of every SEAT model. It will be used first on the new Leon, before being rolled out to the entire range from 2013.

Speaking about SEAT’s presence at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, UK Director Peter Wyhinny said: “We’re hugely excited about what we have in store for this year’s Paris show. The all-new Leon is a remarkable car, oozing Spanish flair but bursting with technology and offering genuine versatility. We can’t wait to show it in the metal so that its beauty and presence can really be appreciated, and beyond that we’re eagerly anticipating getting people behind the wheel so they can feel just how dynamic this car really is.

“In addition, the introduction of the new, fourth-generation Toledo is a big step for us, because it gives our customers the chance to own a car with unique visual appeal but that packs a practicality punch way above its compact size and price. Its five-door hatchback layout brings the model back to the spirit of the ground-breaking original, which was a huge success. We’re convinced that buyers will take this new Toledo to their hearts.

“And with the stunning Mii FR Line Concept sitting on our Paris show stand too, alluding to a sportier future for the sensational city car, there are good times ahead for SEAT. Adding the new Leon and Toledo to models like the Mii, the Exeo and the multi-award winning Alhambra, the SEAT line-up is bigger, better and more exciting than ever before and there’s much more to come.”

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Honesty Not The Policy In Sydney Car Parks

Touch parking is on the rise in Sydney suburbs with nearly 70 per cent of drivers having had their car damaged while it was parked, research by NRMA Insurance has found*.

The insurer’s claims data also shows that the Inner City is the place where you’re most likely to return to your parked vehicle and find it damaged with no note, followed by the Inner West and Eastern Suburbs.

“Our research showed that a note is left by the offending driver in less than nine per cent of cases”, said NRMA Insurance spokesperson Andrew Tubb.

“Sometimes people may not realise they’ve hit another vehicle or maybe they think it’s such a gentle hit they haven’t done any damage”.

“Although a lot of drivers do not own up to hitting a parked car, there are a lot of witnesses to touch parking – two in three people have seen a car connect with another car while trying to park in a tight spot.”

And with increased residents and limited parking spots in many Sydney suburbs, touch parking is likely to be an ongoing issue for NSW drivers.

“We think that at times maybe out of frustration, drivers may try to squeeze their car into a tight spot to rush to their destination”.

“No matter what the reason, if drivers do accidently hit a car while parking, we’re encouraging them to do the right thing and leave a note – you never know when you might be on the receiving end and find your car damaged,” Mr Tubb said.

NRMA Car Insurance offers some tips to try and avoid touch parking:
– If you hit a parked car, do the right thing and leave a note with your details;
– If you witness a collision, pass on any information you have to the innocent party;
– When looking for a parking spot, consider the size of the park and if there is adequate space for your vehicle; and
– If you have a passenger, ask them to get out and guide you into the parking spot.

* Based on a survey of 450 NSW drivers by Pure Profile Research & on NRMA Insurance car claims data for the financial years 2008-2011.

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SEAT Brings in Dual Vocation Training System

SEAT has announced it will replace the current training system in its Apprentices School with a dual one, based on the German system. This will combine theory and practice, and provide students with solid professional experience. The new syllabus will increase the number of hours by 57% (from 2,950 to 4,625) in comparison to the current system, and gives equal importance to training and work in terms of hours.

The new dual training model at SEAT’s Apprentices School will be a three-year course of study. Students will sign a training and apprenticeship contract, and all will receive a monthly payment. First-year apprentices will receive 250 Euros, second-year students 420 Euros, and third-year students 530 Euros.

Josef Schelchshorn, SEAT’s Vice-president for Human Resources, expressed his great satisfaction at the introduction in Spain of a system similar to the German one. “The project means a quantum leap in quality for our School. We are broadening and improving the training of apprentices before they join SEAT, while at the same time forging closer links with the world of work”.

Schelchshorn added that, “it is a matter of great pride for SEAT to be able to contribute to Spanish society in the form of quality training and employment.”

To date SEAT has been offering two years of Middle Grade vocational training cycle, completed with an additional one-year training course to provide students with better qualifications before joining SEAT. The syllabus now becomes broader: 1,700 work-hours are included in one of the company’s production plants, whereas to date 600 hours had been devoted to practical work in workshops. Productive practical work is also introduced in the training centre itself in order to respond to the needs of some company technical departments, allowing students to put their theoretical knowledge to practical use.

Also, first-year students will be provided with 160 hours of hands-on in-factory training in July, to which a total number of 200 hours for English language training will be added in the second and third years, as well as the continuous specialised training offered to those workers already on the SEAT workforce. Each apprentice will also have a personal tutor for the duration of the apprenticeship.

For the current academic year 2012-2013, SEAT will have an intake of 61 new first-year student apprentices, chosen from a record number of 400 applicants for the centre. As has been the case to date, once the apprentices have successfully concluded their three-year course of study, they will be entitled to join SEAT on a long-term contract. Thanks to the new contractual relationship provided by dual training, the students’ links and identification with the company will be strengthened, while at the same time increasing the attractiveness of both the centre itself and of SEAT as an employer.

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SEAT Sets Its Sights on Russia

SEAT has announced the reinforcement of its presence in Russia while strengthening its international expansion plans. The Spanish company, participating in the Moscow Motor Show, has opened a new chapter hand-in-hand with the Volkswagen Group importer to profit from the experience of the company in this market.

So far this year SEAT has doubled the size of its network in Russia, and already has 22 dealerships there, located in Moscow and St. Petersburg, plus other major cities such as Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Rostov-on-Don. SEAT will open three new dealerships before the year’s end, bringing the total number to 25. The aim of opening further dealerships is to cover most of the regions of the European part of the country.

SEAT President and Executive Committee Chairman James Muir stated Russia is yet another example of company’s strategy to open up new markets. He said: “We see great potential for SEAT in markets like Russia. Great design, high quality, outstanding engineering and innovative technology bring something new and fresh to the dynamic Russian automotive market.”

“The Moscow Motor Show represents a key stepping stone in the ambitions of SEAT in Russia,” Muir concluded.

At the Moscow Motor Show – the country’s most important annual automotive industry event – SEAT has announced the growth of the product range in Russia with the start of sales of the Alhambra MPV this autumn. The Alhambra is in addition to the three models currently marketed in Russia: three versions of the Ibiza (3-door SC, 5-door, and ST estate), the Leon hatchback, and the crossover SEAT Altea Freetrack, all of which are built at the Martorell plant on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Besides these four models, SEAT is also displaying the IBX, a hybrid crossover concept car than won accolades from the press and public at last year’s Geneva Motor Show for its winning combination of design and outstanding versatility.

Since Russia is a priority market for SEAT in both the short- and long-term, it has its own infrastructure in Moscow in charge of rolling out the development plan. Russia is a country with strong growth potential, and which aspires to make itself the largest car market in Europe over the next few years. In 2011 more than 2.6 million cars were sold – a figure beaten only by Germany (almost 3.2 million units) – and sales have grown 14.3% during the first half of 2012, exceeding 1.4 million vehicles.

SEAT exports about four of every five cars it manufactures to 75 different countries. One of its aims is to increase this percentage by opening up new markets, including China, where marketing activities began last April. During the first half of 2012 SEAT has achieved strong growth in Mexico (10,214 cars sold, +20.5%), Algeria (5,191, +150.0%) and Israel (3,787, 85.7%). The company has also improved its deliveries over the same period in such competitive European markets as Germany (28,404, +8.0%), the United Kingdom (19,763, +6.8%) and Switzerland (4,159, +19.4%).

In parallel, this year the Spanish brand finds itself in the full flood of an unprecedented product offensive. Over the next few months the return of the Toledo and the new Leon will be added to the Mii and the new Ibiza, already on sale. Growth in the number of models will enable SEAT to broaden its market coverage and provide it with the optimal basis for continued growth in its export markets.

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Drivers Ending The Working Week With A Bang

With research from NRMA Insurance showing Friday is the worst day of the week for a collision, the insurer is calling for drivers to stay alert at the wheel especially as they head into the weekend*.

The insurer’s data showed that collisions on a Friday spiked by 17 per cent above the weekly average and Sunday is the least likely day to have a collision. The peak hour times of 3pm to 5pm during the week are the worst time for a collision and 11am to 1pm on the weekend.

NRMA Insurance spokesperson Damien Butler said the data was a timely reminder to drivers to focus on the road while they’re at the wheel particularly on a Friday and during peak hour traffic.

“People may be starting to unwind for the weekend and be distracted on a Friday, which contributes to them being at higher risk of a collision.

“In the afternoon, drivers may be rushing home from work, hurrying to collect their kids from school or heading away for the weekend and not taking extra care while driving.

“We want to urge drivers to focus on the road, be aware of traffic conditions and to stay calm while driving to help prevent the worst happening,” Mr Butler said.

In the event of a collision, NRMA Car Insurance recommends drivers:

– Stop immediately and give assistance to anyone who is injured;
– Call an ambulance if required;
– Call the police if a person has been injured, the other party fails to stop and/or supply details, a vehicle has to be towed, a driver appears under the influence of drugs or alcohol or there is damage to property;
– Exchange details, including date, time and location, name and residential address of the person involved and the owner of the vehicle, licence and registration details, make and model of the cars involved and insurance details;
– Collect the details of any witnesses and police in attendance; and
– Contact your insurer.

* Based on NRMA Insurance comprehensive motor claims data for the 2011 calendar year.

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Driven To Distraction By Mobile Phones

With over 40 per cent of NSW drivers using their mobile phone while at the wheel, NRMA Insurance is calling for drivers to focus on the road to avoid being at higher risk of a collision*.

Recent NRMA Insurance research shows drivers are continuing to take risks by using their mobile phone while driving, with:

88 per cent making phone calls;
68 per cent texting and reading emails;
40 per cent using applications – e.g. checking the weather forecast, news headlines;
38 per cent taking photos; and
25 per cent updating their status or tweeting.

NRMA Car Insurance spokesperson Adele Buhagiar said the results were concerning, as they showed drivers were still putting themselves at increased risk of a collision, despite the safety warnings.

“The research shows that our appetite for technology extends to while we are driving, with one in four admitting that they are updating their status or tweeting while at the wheel. This is up from one in ten last year.

“We were surprised to see that people are even risking taking photos while driving. Losing focus while behind the wheel, even if it is only for a split second, may cause the worst to happen,” said Ms Buhagiar.

It is illegal to drive a vehicle while using a hand-held mobile phone in NSW, with the penalty a significant fine and three demerit points**.

Ms Buhagiar added “We urge all NSW drivers to be alert on the roads and if you need to make a call or send a message, we suggest you pull over in a safe place before using the phone.”

* Based on a survey of 415 NSW drivers by Pure Profile Research in January 2012.
** www.rta.nsw.gov.au

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Small Cars – Walking Pace Wrecks

A range of top selling small cars cost up to 70 per cent of their new purchase price to repair when involved in a walking-pace speed collision.

NRMA Insurance put the spotlight on the nine top selling small vehicles in Australia to see how their bumpers performed when involved in a collision.

The insurer is urging consumers to consider repair costs when looking for a new car as they can have an impact on their insurance premium.

“We tested the front and rear bumpers of each vehicle by simulating a low speed crash which is the most common type of crash on our roads,” NRMA Insurance Head of Research Robert McDonald said.

“Even travelling at only 10 km/h, we found many of the cars had poor-performing bumper design which resulted in high collision repair costs.

“Our test shows the importance of insurance, as well as serving as a reminder that your car choice could impact your premium. We determine whether it is economical to repair a car after a collision based on the damage and the percentage of the new purchase price it costs to repair the car.”

Mr McDonald said the test revealed a vast difference in repair costs across the range of top selling small vehicles.

“Of the vehicles tested, repair costs for a rear collision range from around $1,200 on one car to more than $7,600 on another.”

When comparing damage for a front and rear collision, the Toyota Yaris and the Honda Jazz were the most expensive to repair. The Yaris cost $13,440 to repair — 70.8 per cent of its new purchase price — and the Jazz cost $13,754 — 69.5 per cent of its new purchase price.

The best performer in the test was the Holden Barina, which had a repair cost for a front and rear collision of $2,574 or 14.3 per cent of its new purchase price.

“Poorly designed bumpers can slide under other bumpers on impact, causing more damage to both vehicles in a collision. Because of its effective bumper design, the Barina did not suffer structural damage and the damage was isolated to the bumper components,” Mr McDonald said.

“It is possible to have effective bumpers on small cars that protect the more expensive parts like headlights and the radiator.”

The NRMA Insurance low speed crash test program was designed to urge car manufacturers to make improvements to bumper bar design to help keep the cost of collision repairs affordable.

The crash apparatus uses a ‘roller coaster’ type device to simulate a 10 km/h collision which replicates impact with another car, allowing NRMA Insurance to accurately compare the costs of repairs. The tests were completed at the NRMA Insurance Research Centre in Sydney.

The NRMA Insurance low speed crash test program is a collision repair cost test and is not an indicator of vehicle safety features. All of these cars, except the Nissan Micra, have been awarded five stars in ANCAP safety rating.

Additional information can be found at http://www.nrma.com.au/small-cars-walking-pace-wrecks

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SEAT Delivers Three Electric Cars to Barcelona

SEAT recently delivered three new electric cars to Barcelona where the vehicles will be tested by Barcelona City Hall in its municipal car fleet for an initial six-month trial period, during which SEAT will gather information and assess performance prior to mass production of electric vehicles. With the hybrid and electric vehicles, SEAT is developing two different technologies, placing the company in an optimal position to respond to market demand.

Ramón Paredes, Executive Vice-president for Governmental and Institutional Relations at SEAT and the Volkswagen Group in Spain, declared that “once more SEAT is showing its links to emblematic projects such as development of the electric car for the future of the country”. He also underscored the fact that “we are the only brand with the capacity to think through, develop and produce an electric vehicle in Spain.”

Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice-president for R&D commented: “Delivering these electric vehicles to institutional fleets covers a new stage in our electric motoring strategy.

“SEAT’s future is electric and we are opting for diversification of alternative technologies so as to cater to different motoring needs.”

Within the framework of this strategy, SEAT has loaned one e-Altea XL to Endesa, and another to the Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN); a further two TwinDrive – one to each of the two organisations mentioned – will be made available over the forthcoming weeks. The company is immersed in the first stage of the introduction of an electric car and envisages the loan of further vehicles to different governmental departments, institutions, and private companies interested in eco-friendly fleets over the forthcoming months.

The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive are two vehicles with different but complementary technologies. The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive can be used in wide variety of different circumstances, and for that reason is SEAT’s first all-electric car. It has a range of 135 kilometres, a power output of 115 hp (85kW), an engine torque of 270 Nm and a top speed of 135 kph. Of the several new features found on it, two of the most striking are battery location under the rear seats and the boot, meaning no reduction in passenger compartment space, and the photovoltaic panels on the roof, cutting energy requirements for the vehicle’s air-conditioning.

The Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive couples the advantages of emission-free driving to the range of a conventional petrol-engine car. The TwinDrive allows for all-electric or hybrid driving, meaning no change whatsoever in driving habits or life style for customers. It has a range of 52 kilometres in electric mode, with a top speed of 120 kph. In mixed mode (electric and combustion) consumption is 1.7 litres, emissions are under 39 g/km, and top speed is 170 kph.

SEAT’s commitment to sustainable motoring and environmental protection extends to other brand vehicles already on the market. SEAT has a long track record of producing low-emission cars – for the record, 70% of cars marketed in Spain have emissions below 130 g/km of CO2.

Additionally SEAT is involved in other projects to promote electrical motoring in Spain. One of them – headed by SEAT – is CENIT VERDE, a public-private initiative comprising companies from different sectors, universities and research centres, and backed by the Spanish government. This project takes a global approach to research into the foundations for a successful introduction of the electric car in Spain.

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SEAT Announces Significant Expansion In China

SEAT has announced it is committed to expanding its activities in China, following its strong presence at the Beijing Motor Show and the unveiling of SEAT showrooms in eight major Chinese cities on 24 April 2012.

Sporty leisure vehicles with a high degree of functionality are currently experiencing a considerable increase in demand in China. Following the market launch of the Leon, SEAT continued its response to the rapidly growing Chinese car market by showcasing the new Ibiza CUPRA Concept at the Beijing Motor Show. Making its world premiere at the event, the Ibiza CUPRA Concept is a close-to-production taster of the new generation of this sporty brand icon.

SEAT also featured the award-winning Alhambra. Using the Beijing Motor Show as an opportunity to gauge initial public reaction, the Alhambra could join the SEAT line-up in China in 2013, also as an import model produced in Europe.

James Muir, Chairman of SEAT, said: “SEAT has arrived in China. We are launching our success story on this market with our state-of-the-art, attractive city showrooms and with the SEAT Leon as the entry model.

“Here in China, we are observing a groundswell of increasingly discerning customers that want to differentiate themselves with their cars. SEAT stands for emotional design and state-of-the-art engineering, for guaranteed driving fun mile-for-mile. Our unique combination of design and performance, of technology and precision secures for us an enormous potential within this key marketplace.”

At the Beijing Motor Show, SEAT’s show stand displayed the new SEAT corporate identity. Characterised by a bright, expansive design, with, warm and welcoming colours, it reflected the design philosophy and the core values of the Spanish brand – clear, precise and distinctive in a highly attractive way.

All the new showrooms in China were designed in line with this new brand identity, which is scheduled for implementation worldwide. The cities to receive showrooms were: Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Wuhan and Zhengzhou.

The SEAT dealer network in China has planned to expand further over the next few months, reaching 15 operations by the end of 2012. This summer will see showrooms open in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanning, Xi’an und Xiamen, with Beijing and Shanghai following.

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SEAT reveals Ibiza CUPRA Concept

SEAT has presented its Ibiza CUPRA Concept at a recent Volkswagen Group media event that signals the start of the Beijing International Motor Show. The Ibiza CUPRA was showcased as a close-to-production concept car that heralds a new generation of the iconic CUPRA model.

The Ibiza CUPRA shows the SEAT DNA in its most concentrated form: amazing performance, the latest technology and comprehensive equipment clad in an emotional design that has been consistently developed. With its compact form, the Ibiza CUPRA Concept is a sports car for every day, combining agile driving fun with a high degree of functionality. The series-production model of the new Ibiza CUPRA will arrive towards the end of 2012.

With its 132 kW / 180 hp engine, seven-speed DSG transmission with shift paddles, XDS electronic differential lock and high-performance brakes, the Ibiza CUPRA Concept aims to showcase high technological competence.

James Muir, Chairmanof SEAT, said: “With its new, powerfully accentuated design, its innovative technologies, upgraded interior and further improved quality, the new Ibiza CUPRA Concept clearly shows how our brand is continuing to develop.

“Emotional design and refined dynamics guarantee driving fun on every single kilometre. We are presenting the Ibiza CUPRA Concept at the Beijing Motor Show because this compact athlete will be an important element in the development of our brand in this key market.”

The first generation of the Ibiza CUPRA took to the streets in 1996. Since then the dynamic CUPRA models have developed to become an icon of the SEAT brand. The Ibiza CUPRA Concept shows how the next chapter of this success story will be written.

Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice-President for Research and Development at SEAT, said:
“Immediate and linear acceleration, with agile handling, good traction and responsive brakes are the key ingredients for what the CUPRA name represents.”The new Ibiza CUPRA Concept is a perfect example of how we at SEAT are adapting the latest Volkswagen Group technology to create a unique and highly rewarding package.”

The concept car’s LED daytime running lights trace the line of the headlamps to deliver a unique light signature, as do the LED rear lights. Technically, the bi-xenon headlamps provide illumination, while cornering lights are integrated into the large fog lamps.

The side view of the three-door sports coupe is defined by its sharply drawn lines and edges, while the muscular rear shoulders and 17-inch wheels underscore its dynamics. The exterior mirrors are painted black and contrast with the distinctive Crono yellow paint finish of the CUPRA Concept in Beijing.

The entertainment system in the Ibiza CUPRA Concept is completely new. The powerful audio set-up can be complemented by the innovative SEAT Portable System. The 5-inch screen is removable for mobile use and yet integrated into the vehicle electronics. Its many functions include the navigation system, the hands-free phone system with voice control and an on-board computer. At a later point, the SEAT Portable System will be available as an option for the entire Ibiza family.

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Most Motorists Would Keep Quiet About Accidents, Survey Finds

A new survey from the Co-operative Motor Group has indicated that a majority of drivers would keep quiet if they collided with a friend or neighbour’s car by accident, although there was some variation in honesty between motorists of different age groups.

Of 2,000 people surveyed, just 24 per cent said they would ensure they told a friend in the event of a prang with their vehicle, while 26 per cent felt they would inform a neighbour. However, only one in eight participants said they would tell a stranger that they had crashed into their motor. A third, meanwhile, said they would come clean with a boss or work colleague.

The poll also suggested that older drivers were more honest than their younger counterparts, with 72 per cent of those aged 55 and over saying that they would seek to track down owner of the car they had hit regardless of who they were – as opposed to just 40 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24.

“Any claim you make could mean your insurance goes up when you come to renew your policy,” said Co-operative Group head of motor insurance Grant Mitchell. “It can be tempting to ignore minor scrapes or faults with your car, but it’s always best to get these fixed to avoid problems further down the line.”

There were also some differences in straightforwardness between drivers in different parts of the UK. While just 10.82 per cent of motorists in north-west England would seek to dodge the blame for a minor collision, this figure rose to 22.09 per cent among those in London – the area with the highest proportion of dishonest drivers.

Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands, the south-east and Northern Ireland were also among the most honest regions, whilst their counterparts in the north-east, Scotland, Wales and the south-east were most keen to keep their heads down in the hope they’d get away with it.

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SEAT Reports Improved Profits As A Result Of Increased Exporting

SEAT has announced that internationalisation enabled it to weather the storm affecting the Spanish market in 2011 and forge ahead with its plans for growth and profitability. SEAT passed the 5 billion euros mark in terms of revenues (5,049 million, 8.3% more than the previous financial year), thanks to an increase in exports and the market success of its products.

The difficult economic situation didn’t prevent the Volkswagen Group brand from devoting 555 million euros (7% up on last year) to investment and R&D. In spite of this, SEAT improved its operating account by almost 100 million euros (30%), ending 2011 with a result totalling -232 million euros compared to the -330 million of the previous financial year. Earnings after tax improved by 43 million (41.3%) to -61 million euros.

During the presentation of the company’s results for 2011 SEAT’s President James Muir said: “SEAT has delivered on its commitments. We have improved all our indicators and this year we want to continue in the same direction.”

In 2011 SEAT delivered 3.1% more vehicles (350,009 units) worldwide, in spite of the Spanish market crisis, and at year’s end it was car registrations leader for the second year running in Spain. The company made up for the downturn in its home market by an 11.4% increase in exports, which now account for almost 80% of total deliveries.

The upturn was particularly significant in Germany (+20.9%), France (+14.6%), the United Kingdom (+9.6%) and Italy (+6.5%). SEAT increased its market share in the European Union, and also sold 35.4% more in Mexico, plus 35.6% more in North Africa and the Middle East.

Holger Kintscher, SEAT executive Vice-president for Finances and Organization remarked on the improved profits, saying: “Our company is following the plan laid out to achieve profitability. We have continued to increase earnings and optimise costs, and this has enabled us to improve our results. We have also created more than 1,000 employees and invested 555 million euros to consolidate our future. We are on the right track.”

In 2011 SEAT broadened and updated its product range with the launch onto the Spanish market of the Mii, the brand’s new city car, signalling its return to the city cars segment and greater market coverage. The Mii was joined by the revamped Exeo and the Alhambra 4, extending the range of SEAT’s award-winning MPV with a four-wheel drive version.

Thanks to the success of SEAT products and the start-up of the Audi Q3, the company increased production at Martorell, its main production facility, by 5.5%, totalling 353,420 vehicles. Both elements enabled SEAT to become one of Spain’s major generators of employment. SEAT also finalized a new, more modern and flexible collective agreement, partially linking pay to company results, as well as paving the way for the creation of yet more jobs.

The new city car Mii and the new Ibiza, the brand’s and Spain’s best-selling car, will be joined after the summer break by the new Toledo and the 5-door Leon.

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Motoring DIY skills in short supply, survey finds

A new survey has indicated that everyday car repair skills are in relatively short supply among UK motorists, with many drivers lacking any knowledge of a range of relatively simple motoring-related tasks.

According to a poll recently conducted The Co-operative Motor Group, tasks such as topping up oil levels are beyond the knowledge of many UK drivers. More than one in three of those questioned – 37 per cent – said the main reason for their lack of car repair experience was the fact they had never been shown how to do such tasks, while a similar proportion of participants felt it was the responsibility of professional mechanics.

What’s more, two out of five motorists quizzed as part of the survey said they would be unable to change a car tyre in the event of a problem, with one in seven admitting to being unable to open their car’s bonnet. New drivers are frequently asked by examiners to demonstrate how to open the bonnet as one of the ‘show me, tell me’ questions asked before driving tests – which makes this particular finding all the more worrying.

“Many drivers feel bemused by even the most simple elements of modern motoring. They admit to being unable to perform tasks that can be the difference between keeping a car running safely and without major expense, and spending hours waiting for roadside recovery,” said Co-operative Motor Group managing director Tony Guest.

Despite the apparently widespread lack of car repair knowledge and experience among British motorists – 16.95 per cent admitted to not knowing how to top up windscreen washer fluid – nearly half of participants had experienced a breakdown whilst driving their current vehicle. More than one-fifth (22 per cent), however, said they had no breakdown cover whatsoever.

“Breaking down can be a stressful event and motorists would be advised to check that they have adequate breakdown cover to make sure they can get assistance in case the worst happens,” Mr Guest added.

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2012 SEAT Exeo Glides Into Showrooms

The executive class 2012 SEAT Exeo is now available in the Spanish brand’s UK showrooms nationwide with even more style, economy and refinement available to savvy saloon and estate buyers.

SEAT’s much-admired Exeo saloon and Exeo ST Estate range boasts a new look and some important engineering upgrades.

The 2012 cars’ revised ‘face’ – with new bi-xenon headlights and stunning LED daytime running lights (standard on Sport models and optional on SE spec cars) – ensures it once again cuts a real dash in the executive car park.

The styling enhancements, boosted by smart new alloy wheel designs, further underline the high value SEAT Exeo Estate range’s premium look while upgrades to interior materials – including improved leather on the steering wheel and revised upholstery – create a matching premium feel.

Meanwhile, improvements to the high quality SEAT saloon and estate’s 2.0 TDI common rail power plant see emissions cut to as little as 129 g/km. Economy is similarly improved, too, with the Exeo saloon now being capable of as much as 58.9 mpg on the EU’s combined cycle.

The Exeo’s elegant styling upgrades, allied to SEAT’s on-going commitment to improving quality and fuel economy, as well as reducing emissions, are already generating even more interest in the range. The luxurious saloon and estate car line-up is the Spanish brand’s third best-seller in the UK behind the perennially popular Ibiza super-mini and Leon five-door family hatch.

As 2012 unfolds the Exeo family is set for even more upgrades, too, with the likely arrival of an Ecomotive version. SEAT’s cleanest, greenest and most fuel efficient cars all bear the Ecomotive moniker and are synonymous with environmental efficiency. The Ibiza Ecomotive, for instance, emits just 92 g/km of CO2 while the Leon Ecomotive is hot on its heels with a road tax and London congestion charge-busting CO2 figure of just 99 g/km.

The forthcoming Exeo Ecomotive will boast many of the same technologies that make its Ecomotive siblings such frugal propositions. SEAT’s effortless Start/Stop technology, for instance, will help deliver even more fuel efficiency.

SEAT is targeting an ambitious CO2 figure of less than 120 g/km for the Start/Stop-equipped Exeo which will, of course, enhance its appeal to both environmentally-conscious private buyers and UK fleet managers who demand such low car emissions levels from even their executive models.

SEAT UK Managing Director Peter Wyhinny said: “The showroom arrival of the freshly upgraded Exeo range comes at a great time for SEAT. With another record year under our belt in 2011, and sales continuing their upward trend so far this year, our dealers are already busy.

“The revised Exeo is yet another reason for buyers to visit – and that’s all before the new Ibiza super-mini range and brilliant new Mii city car make their UK debuts.

“2012 is set to be the most exciting year in SEAT’s history, and the Exeo gets things off to the perfect start.”

For full details on the entire SEAT range, together with a great car configurator, simply visit www.seat.co.uk.

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SEAT Reveals the New Five Door Mii City Car

SEAT is revealing an expansion to the Mii city car line-up with the first glimpse of an even more versatile five-door version.

The additional rear doors turn the super-compact SEAT into a unique combination of exceptional driving fun, sporty design and outstanding functionality.

Of course the new five-door Mii remains true to core SEAT principles – meaning it’s both a pleasure to drive, and a pleasure to own.

In either three- or five-door form the Mii scores top marks for fuel consumption and emissions thanks to its lightweight design and efficient drivetrains. This applies in particular to the newly-announced Mii Ecomotive.

Thanks to a start/stop system, brake energy recovery and other measures to improve fuel economy, the Mii Ecomotive makes do with just 4.2 litres of fuel per 100 km, equating to CO2 emissions of only 96 g/km. These impressive statistics apply to both the three and five-door versions, as well as to both performance variants; 60 PS and 75 PS.

James Muir, President of SEAT, S.A. said: “The new Mii has enjoyed a terrific start. Customer response in Spain is outstanding and we are now bringing the entire line-up to the other European markets complete with the three-door, five-door and Ecomotive versions.

“With its distinctive SEAT identity, its youthful design and its high quality standards, the five-door Mii in particular is set to capture a significant share of the sub-compact segment. This makes the Mii an important factor in our corporate strategy. The Mii marks the start of the most extensive model offensive ever undertaken by SEAT.”

As a five-door, the Mii retains the strong character of its distinctive design. Perfectly proportioned, the new SEAT measures 1.64 metres wide with a long wheelbase of 2.42 metres and exceptionally short overhangs front and rear. The steeply angled rear end facilitates the Mii’s generous interior space – optimum functionality is particularly important in the sub-compact segment.

The car’s compact format makes the Mii the perfect companion for urban environments. Yet, thanks to its optimum use of space, it offers plenty of room for four adults. With a volume of 251 litres the Mii also boasts one of the largest luggage compartments in its class, expanding to an impressive 951 litres with the rear seat back folded.

When it comes to technology and equipment, the five-door Mii matches its three-door sibling blow for blow. Beneath the bonnet lies a new generation of engines; the frugal 1.0 litre three-cylinder unit is light, compact and smooth. In two outputs of 60 PS and 75 PS, it ensures fleet-footed agility, and not just in city traffic. With top speeds of 160 km/h and 171 km/h respectively, fuel consumption comes in at just 4.5 or 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres. Meanwhile the Mii’s 35-litre fuel tank ensures both a long range and enduring driving fun.

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Co-Operative Car Showroom Crowned UK’s Top Land Rover Dealership

Farnell Land Rover has won the ultimate recognition from its own supplier by being crowned Land Rover’s UK Dealer of the Year.

The Bradford-based dealership, which is part of The Co-operative Group, beat more than 130 other businesses from across Britain to win the highly-coveted prize at this year’sLand Rover dealers‘ conference.

Farnell Land Rover, located on Kings Road, Bradford, was one of the first Land Rover dealerships in the world to open its doors. The company has continued to refresh and update its image, and recently invested £1m in a new showroom, which opened to the public last January.

Jatinder Aujla, Group Operations Manager, said: “To win this award just one year after re-launching the dealership perfectly illustrates the excellent customer service we provide.

“It is also particularly gratifying since I am Bradford born and bred and very proud of my hometown. It was great to be able to promote Bradford on the national stage as a successful place to do business.”

As well as becoming Dealer of the Year, Farnell Land Rover also took second place in the Sales Dealer of the Year and Service Centre of the Year categories. In the latter, the Bradford firm narrowly lost out to the Leeds-based Land Rover dealership, also part of The Co-operative Group.

The Bradford company enjoyed strong sales over the Christmas period, with new like-for-like purchases up 60 per cent on the previous year. The increase in demand was partly driven by interest in the Range Rover Evoque, a recently-released British-built model endorsed by Victoria Beckham, who was brought in to design the interior of the vehicle.

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The Co-operative Motor Group Launch Mobile Website and QR Code Application

A surge in demand from consumers for smartphone-enabled websites is behind an innovative, new service being offered by The Co-operative Motor Group.

The Co-operative Motor Group, which operates 23 franchised main dealer showrooms across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West, has launched a new smartphone-enabled website at http://www.co-operativemotorgroup.co.uk/, which is packed full of content and allows visitors to carry out vehicle searches of new car dealerships and book services & MOTs from their handheld devices – all within a few clicks.

At a Google motoring conference earlier this year it was revealed that mobile searches were soaring, and that at the weekend smartphone browsing exceeded desktop searches. It was also predicted that by 2013 mobile users will exceed desktop for the first time. Nearly half (45 per cent) of Internet users accessed the Internet via a mobile phone in 2011, according to new data released by ONS in the summer, almost double from last year when the number stood at seven per cent.

The soaring interest in smartphones –now accounting for 37 per cent of all mobile phone sales – has also resulted in The Co-operative Motor Group introducing Quick Response (QR) codes on individual vehicles, which, when scanned, link consumers to additional content via iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices, and provide customers with a ‘silent salesperson’ if they are either shopping outside of normal working hours or forecourt browsing. Users scan the QR code in used car dealers with their smartphone and full details of the vehicle including mileage, service history and accessories is automatically downloaded and saved.

Alison Ottaway, Group Brand Development Manager with The Co-operative Motor Group, said: “We realise that not all potential customers have the time to visit our showrooms during normal working hours, so the launch of our new, smartphone-enabled website and associated QR code technology means that they can shop or research a vehicle and get full background details at any time – all via their smartphone or handheld device.

She added, “This is cutting-edge technology that is only now becoming popular in the UK, but over the coming months it will be increasingly used, and we believe will become the norm in a very short time span.”

Phill Jones, commercial director at Motors.co.uk, said: “Now is the right time for car dealers to address how best to optimise their websites for use via smartphone browsers. A really great mobile site can act as a clear acquisition channel to introduce new users to the desktop site.”

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