Category Archives: Car Builder

DiMora Neoclassics Sells Two Vicci 6.2 Emperor Convertibles for $1 Million Each

The Neoclassics division of DiMora Motorcar® stunned the auto world with its unveiling of the DiMora Vicci 6.2 Emperor Convertible, at Art Revolution Taipei 2014 in Taiwan. As the first product of a collaboration between America’s automotive designer Sir Alfred J. DiMora and Taiwan’s Zen Master Lee Sun-Don, this original idea has inspired not only the automotive world, but the art world as well, making it the first ever true rolling art. Two Vicci 6.2 Emperors sold at the exhibit for US $1 million each.

A.R.T. Executive Director John Cheng praised the unconventional introduction of a new automobile at the art fair: “The DiMora Vicci 6.2 and Lee Sun-Don’s paintings are the highlight of the show, and already enthusiastic customers have placed orders for two cars.”

Cheng was delighted to note the success of the art fair: “The fourth edition of Art Revolution Taipei closes with record sales. A record high of more than 93 percent of the attending artists have sold their works and several of them sold out completely. 280 artists from 48 countries around the globe showcased 2,000 pieces of artwork at the fair, including the eye-catching neoclassic DiMora Vicci 6.2 supercar that combines DiMora’s handcrafted car-making art with Master Lee Sun-Don’s powerful and striking painting.”

DiMora’s production of the Vicci 6.2 Convertibles will have special editions of 25 Master Lee Sun-Don works on them. The original Great Treasure Gate paintings reflect Master Lee Sun-Don’s continuing fascination with the distinctive door knockers created during the Ming Dynasty that lasted from 1368 to 1644. They have chosen these door knockers as a unifying theme for DiMora’s limited run. The owner of each car receives the original painting used to create the image on the automobile. “Development Unbound” is the title of the artwork on DiMora’s first Vicci 6.2 shown at the A.R.T. fair.

DiMora created the Neoclassics division of DiMora Motorcar to blend 430-horsepower 21st Century technology with automotive design cues from the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s. It then occurred to DiMora that the automobiles he was manufacturing with smooth curvature lines could be embraced by exquisite art. But it had to be the right match of artistic style for the combination to succeed. This would be uncharted territory, as never before in world automotive history had such an idea been tried.

“DiMora Neoclassics is carving a path to an entirely different, untapped market,” said DiMora. “Because of our trendsetting and out-of-the-box thinking, it only made sense to me to combine art with automobiles, to produce true rolling art.”

After many months of studying and comparing the work of numerous international artists, DiMora determined that Zen Master Lee Sun-Don was the right artist for the collaborative effort. Overcoming the language barrier, the two men quickly became friends with a common understanding of how to proceed. The DiMora Vicci 6.2 Emperor series of 25 masterpieces is the result.

After Lee Sun-Don creates the original painting, meticulous care is taken to copy the image onto the Vicci. The core selection of 14 colors of paint are blended to produce the 50 colors that serve as the extended color palette of the car. Every detail of the painting is hand copied precisely into the outlines marked on the car. There is also a 51st color, but it is not paint. Some gold elements of the painting are actually gold leaf on the hood and side panels, along with the wheel hub caps on the Vicci 6.2 Emperor.

Within the first hour of the opening of Art Revolution Taipei 2014, the first of the Viccis sold. The overwhelmingly positive public reception at the show of this innovative concept has led many art and automobile collectors to believe that a great investment in a DiMora Vicci 6.2 Emperor limited edition series will provide both appreciation and driving enjoyment for many years down the road.

About DiMora Motorcar
Based in Palm Springs, California, DiMora Motorcar excels in providing distinctive, limited-edition transportation solutions. The DiMora Neoclassics series of luxury automobiles includes the Vicci 6.2, now in production, and the Adina, now in the prototype phase. The magnificent Natalia SLS 2 sport luxury sedan is scheduled for production in 2017. Sir Alfred J. DiMora co-founded the Sceptre Motorcar Company, whose Sceptre 6.6S received Best-of-Show honors at the 1978 Los Angeles Auto Show. DiMora also founded the new Clenet Coachworks, Inc. in the 1980’s to continue designing and building the Clenet series of automobiles. When President Reagan declared 1986 the Centennial Year of the Gasoline-Powered Automobile, DiMora’s Clenet was selected as the Official Centennial Car, resulting in honors for DiMora and the Clenet at the Automobile Hall of Fame in Michigan. Please visit www.dimoramotorcar.com or www.clenetclub.com. Complete specifications for the Vicci 6.2 Convertible may be found at www.dimoramotorcar.com/viccispecs.html.

About Master Lee Sun-Don
Inspired by his Buddhist practice, Zen Master Lee Sun-Don develops “totemic energy oil painting” to embody in Western oil art the profundity of Chinese culture and Zen sensibility. Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Sun-Don has achieved international recognition as a music composer, pianist, Zen martial arts novelist, and Zen Buddhist Master of Yuan-Dao Guanyin Temple in Taipei. He currently serves as Art Director of Art Revolution Taipei and as Deputy Director of the Gallery of China Profiles in Xiamen, China. Galleries of his artwork may be visited in Beverly Hills, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taiwan. Please visit arts.sundon.net.

About Art Revolution Taipei
The Art Revolution Taipei (A.R.T.) is an annual international art fair based in the Taipei World Trade Center. Detailed information is available at www.arts.org.tw.

To purchase a DiMora Motorcar® Vicci automobile or any other DiMora products, please call 760-832-9070.

Contact-Details: DiMora Motorcar®
760-832-9070
rbliss@dimoramotorcar.com
www.dimoramotorcar.com

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Tokyo’s Terra Motors decided the world’s first mass production of Electric 3-wheelers in Asia

Terra Motors decided the world’s first mass production of Electric 3-wheelers which can be charged by AC power. Terra Motors’ prototype is completed this April, and they plan to produce 10,000 sets of electric 3-wheelers in 2013.

In Asian countries, 3-wheeler market has expanded rapidly, because it is cheap and freight is large, compare to cars. For example, in India, the number of three-wheelers is increasing twice by these five-years. And the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh also shows the same transition.

It is thought that electric-ization of the three-wheel taxi in Asia progresses rapidly, because of aggravation of air pollution, the high price and constant shortage of gasoline. For example, in India, gasoline cost has increased also 2.5 times by these ten-years, so the demand to the cut in fuel consumption by electric-izing is serious. By replacing a three-wheel taxi to electric one, the annual income of taxi driver can be raised by about 3 times.

They plan to establish branch office in India in this summer, and aim at world top share acquisition in 2014.

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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 Young Driver course has positive effect on accident rates

The pioneering SEAT Young Driver programme is proving to have a positive effect on accident rates among its participants. This is according to research into the subject by Young Driver Training Ltd, the company behind SEAT Young Driver.

A survey among teenagers that have taken the ground-breaking young driver course has revealed that their accident rate is markedly reduced when compared to the overall rate of newly qualified drivers in the UK.

Statistics from the Department for Transport show that two out of ten newly qualified drivers will crash within six months of passing the test*, and drivers aged 17-24 are involved in one in four incidents of serious injury or death on the road, despite accounting for one in eight full UK driving licences.**

By comparison, of those that responded to a Young Driver Survey and had held a full licence for six months or more, fewer than one in ten had been involved in an accident behind the wheel: 9%, which is less than half the national rate.***

Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) chief examiner, Peter Rodger said: “It’s good to see early indications that pre-driver courses are producing safer drivers. The IAM has always felt that training drivers over a longer period of time and catching them when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is key to producing a safer driver.

“Facilitating more time to develop skills of observation and anticipation, and to build a broad experience of different traffic conditions, will ultimately save lives.”

Kim Stanton, Marketing Director for Young Driver, added: “Our research, along with data from the Swedish Government, shows that training young people to drive at an early age when they’re much more receptive to road safety messages really could save hundreds of lives per year.”

SEAT Young Driver is the only driver training course of its type in the UK, offering anyone aged between 11- and 17 years old the chance to get behind the wheel with a qualified ADI instructor and learn how to drive.

Research undertaken for the Swedish Government found that establishing a minimum number of hours of pre-test driving experience slashed accidents among young drivers by 40%****. SEAT Young Driver was set up in 2009 based on this research, and remains the only course of its type in the UK.

By the end of 2012 over 60,000 young people will have taken the SEAT Young Driver course, each of them equipped to go into their driving lessons at 17 having learned the fundamentals of driving.

Lessons take place throughout the UK, from Southampton to Glasgow, at venues with facilities for driver training away from the public highway; locations have included The NEC in Birmingham, Brent Cross in London and Metro Centre, Gateshead.

The course includes the very basics of manoeuvring a car, to more complex, real-world skills like overtaking, using a roundabout and reverse parking.

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SEAT introduces the Mii ‘Miinx’

SEAT has announced the introduction of a pink Mii, called the ‘Miinx’.

The Miinx is the work of Cornwall dealership Dales SEAT, and was created as a one-off show car after Sales Manager Tom Rawlings decided one evening that he fancied doing “something different.” Work began immediately, with the dealership choosing a Mii Sport in Deep Black metallic as the basis for the as-yet-unnamed car.

The Mii’s bodywork was covered in a pink gloss vinyl wrap, while the lights were tinted with a translucent film, resulting in a more pronounced, contrasting look.

Once the wrap had been applied, Dales posted a picture on Twitter and asked for some name ideas. ‘Miinky’, as it was for a while, generated plenty of discussion, though eventually the Miinx sobriquet was settled upon.

Aside from the wrap, the Miinx is a standard three-door Mii Sport. Power comes from a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine with 75 PS and it gets a generous standard equipment list including 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather steering wheel and gear knob, dark tinted rear windows, front fog lights, and sports suspension.

The Mii Miinx is a compact way of making a very big statement. It’s also charitable, with Dales planning to give £100 to the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity for every car sold.

“One thing’s for sure, the Miinx is a car that always provokes a strong reaction, good or bad,” said Tom Rawlings.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the special edition since we launched it. From the day we first parked it outside our showroom, people have made a point of coming in to tell us what they think.

“The car’s also divided opinion on Twitter. I tweeted a photo and within minutes hundreds of people were commenting about it. But we couldn’t believe it when people from all over the place started calling the dealership to enquire about the car. We’ve obviously done something right,” he added.

Dales has received a raft of enquiries about the Miinx – one from as far afield as northern Scotland – and has consequently begun taking firm orders.

Every Miinx sold will come with the SEAT Portable System included – the removable multimedia device that SEAT is currently giving away free with cars bought using SEAT Solutions finance.

For more information on the SEAT Miinx call Dales SEAT now on 01209 821144. Follow Dales on Twitter @DALESCornwall, and SEAT @SEAT_cars_UK

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Mitsubishi Motors’ next-generation Outlander on sale in Japan

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced the launch of the all-new Outlander mid-size SUV for the Japan market at dealerships throughout Japan today. This will be a homecoming of sorts for the new Outlander after going on sale in Russia and Europe.

This successor of the previous Outlander core model (which sold about 660,000 units during its lifetime) harmoniously balances high levels of safety, high fuel efficiency, and extended utility to provide a “premium driving experience.”

The new Outlander represents the fusion of every facet of MMC’s car-building technology and knowhow. The focus for the new Outlander was on achieving a significantly refined look and feel that oozes quality in its exterior appearance, interior, and driving performance along with world-class safety features such as “e-Assist.” As a result it offers superior on-road safety performance with its advanced occupant safety features and high-performance 4WD drivetrain while also achieving excellent environmental performance through its extensive use of fuel efficiency technologies and reductions in weight.

Mitsubishi Motors’ next-generation outstanding Outlander

Outstanding Environmental Credentials
Designed to be eco-friendly, the Outlander accomplishes this with fuel efficiency and CO2 emission levels that are among the best in class with Outlander diesel models recording 5.8L/100km and 153g/100kms respectively.

The all-new Outlander is fitted with next-generation Smart MIVEC engines with variable lift and timing control and ECO Drive Assistant Function.

The Outlander is offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines with a diesel six-speed automatic model introduced to the Outlander range for the first time. Available on the Outlander 4WD LS and Outlander Aspire, the 2.2-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo charged MIVEC engine provides a superior level of environmental performance, with CO2 emissions of 153g/100kms which is amongst the best in its class. With a lighter body weight of 1610kg achieved through the optimisation of the body structure, the use of high-tensile strength panelling and improved aerodynamics, the Outlander diesel engine delivers fuel efficiency of 5.8L/100kms.

Outlander 2WD ES models are powered by the petrol 2.0-litre MIVEC engine which produces fuel economy of 7.0L/100kms in five-speed manual transmission and 6.6L/100kms in Continuously Variable Transmission. Outlander 4WD ES models use the 2.4-litre MIVEC engine mated to Continuously Variable Transmission to deliver fuel efficiency of 7.5L/100kms.

Furthermore, the new Outlander is equipped with an eco-friendly driving system, ECO Drive, which notifies the driver when they are driving at maximum efficiency. Turning on ECO mode results in fuel-efficient driving with energy-saving control across the engine, air-conditioning and four-wheel drive systems.

Driving information from the ECO Drive mode is reviewed for each designated time period and a gauge is displayed using five leaves. This encourages the driver to learn and then adopt an environmentally-friendly driving style to achieve a ‘high’ score. This ECO score is displayed every three minutes during driving with a total score displayed for the time from ignition start to when it is turned off. The system also displays the status of environmentally-friendly driving in a bar graph, allowing drivers to understand the level of environmentally-friendly driving in real time.

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Mitsubishi Motors’ New-look ASX

MMAL’s CEO, Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, said the new-look ASX reflects Mitsubishi Motors’ global styling direction of Solid-Safe-Simple.

“The ASX is a popular vehicle in the Australian market and we are confident the new-look model will appeal to customers who want a versatile and stylish compact SUV,” Oshikiri said.

The ASX’s refined Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) provides a smoother, improved drive experience. Achieved through an adjusted relationship between throttle pedal opening and torque output, the new generation CVT delivers improved engine performance and acceleration.

As the best in class for fuel efficiency, using just 5.7-litres per 100 kilometres, the ASX 4WD Aspire six-speed manual is powered by a 1.8-litre turbo diesel engine. The CO2 emissions for this model are also low at 149 grams per kilometre. This economical performance is achieved via the variable valve timed diesel engine which features Mitsubishi’s MIVEC system, providing maximum outputs of 110kW of power and 300Nm of torque.

The ASX 2WD and ASX 2WD Aspire are powered by the fuel-efficient 2.0-litre engine that drives the front wheels through a choice of either five-speed manual gearbox or CVT and provides maximum outputs of 110kW of power and 197Nm. The 2WD ASX returns competitive fuel consumption figures of 7.9-litres per 100 kilometres in the CVT and 7.7-litres per 100 kilometres in the manual transmisson.

Already highly specified from a safety viewpoint with a five-star ANCAP rating, the ASX range utilises Mitsubishi’s acclaimed RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) structure, ASTC (Active Stability Control with Traction Control), Hill Start Control system, ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist, and seven airbags, including driver and passenger front, side and curtain, and driver knee airbag as standard.

To complement the ASX’s refreshed exterior look, numerous interior and functionality upgrades have been made across the range including increased towing capacities of 1,300kg on petrol models and 1,400kg on diesel models.

Inside the cabin, chrome accents on the A/C dials and combination cluster meter give the interior a boost while the new sleeker steering wheel features easier to use controls.

A new audio system in the ASX 2WD features CD and iPod compatibility while the new generation audio display, available on 2WD and 4WD Aspire models, features a 6.1-inch full colour touch panel and rear-view camera with parking reference lines.

The ASX 2WD receives improved seat trim, steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth hands-free system. The Bluetooth hands-free system with steering wheel and voice controls boosts convenience, making it easier and safer to make phone calls on the road.

The newly introduced ASX 2WD Aspire has extra features above the ASX 2WD including 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust, front fog lamps and exterior chrome accents.

The interior of the ASX 2WD Aspire includes leather seat trim with heated front seats and power driver’s seat along with leather-look door trim and privacy glass.

Rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing headlamps make journeys in adverse conditions a little easier while the Smart Key system with one-touch start enhances the daily drive. The 2WD Aspire comes standard with reverse sensors and reverse camera to assist driver awareness and visibility.

Top of the range ASX 4WD Aspire builds on the two-wheel drive model’s specifications with the addition of panoramic roof as standard and an easier to use 4×4 button selector to switch between drive modes.

The ASX line-up is available in a range of colours including Starlight, Ironbark, White, Cool Silver, Black, Red and Titanium.

Mitsubishi retail offers a five year / 130,000 km new vehicle warranty, five year Roadside Assist and Capped Price Servicing for the first four years or 60,000 km of ownership on all new vehicles.*

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Mitsubishi Motors Refines the Legendary Pajero

Official Mitsubishi News – MMAL’s CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri said the new-look Pajero line-up caters for four-wheel drive enthusiasts at all levels.

“From the entry-level GLX to the luxury Exceed, there is a Pajero to suit all budgets and to cater for all on and off-road needs,” Oshikiri said.

The Pajero is available with a powerful, fuel-efficient 3.2-litre Common Rail turbo diesel engine with the option of a 3.8-litre MIVEC petrol engine in the Exceed model. The Common Rail turbo diesel delivers a massive 147kW of power at 3,800 rpm and 441Nm of torque at 2,000rpm while providing a smooth and fuel-efficient ride of 9.0L/100kms.

The MIVEC petrol engine option provides up to 184kW of power at 6,000rpm and torque of 329Nm at 2,750 rpm while delivering minimal fuel consumption of 13.5L/100km and a comfortable drive.

With such impressive power and torque, the Pajero’s huge three-tonne towing capacity means everything from a boat or caravan to a trailer can be towed with confidence. With flexible seating for up to seven people, the Pajero is the ultimate family car and because the third row of seats can be completely removed or folded and stored under the rear floor, there’s even more room to fit everything in. The addition of rear differential lock as standard across the 13MY Pajero range boosts the versatility of Mitsubishi’s legendary four-wheel drive.

The Pajero range offers outstanding occupant and driver safety utilising the latest Mitsubishi safety technology. Standard safety equipment includes Mitsubishi’s RISE body protection along with front driver and passenger, side and curtain SRS airbags and reversing camera to enhance driver visibility and awareness.

All Pajeros are equipped with MATT (Mitsubishi All Terrain Technology) which delivers superior off-road control and outstanding on-road safety and handling. To bolster the MATT package, 13MY Pajeros now come with rear differential lock as standard across the range. MATT incorporates a number of systems including Active Stability and Traction Control, ABS braking system with EBD and Super Select 4WD II. Super Select 4WD II lets the driver alternate between 2WD and 4WD modes at speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour on any surface, making the switch from on-road fuel efficiency to off-road traction simple.

Available colour choices across the 2013 Pajero range include Cool Silver, Graphite, Champagne, Ironbark, Warm White, White and pearlescent Pitch Black.

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SEAT unveils the new Ibiza CUPRA

SEAT officially raises the bar in the supermini class with the introduction of the sensational Ibiza CUPRA. First shown as a concept during April’s Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, the Ibiza CUPRA is now unveiled in barely touched production form.

Performance is scintillating, with a 0-62mph time of just 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142 mph, yet exceptionally efficient, with average fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg.

Due to arrive in the UK in January 2013, the new car follows more than 16 years of heritage. The CUPRA name was born in 1996 as a special, top-of-the-line Ibiza built to commemorate SEAT’s World Rally Championship victory in the 2.0-litre category. Since then a CUPRA has always featured in the SEAT model line-up, with the name adorning both the Ibiza and Leon ranges.

“The Ibiza CUPRA is one of the icons of the SEAT brand,” said James Muir, President of SEAT S.A. “Its stunning design and refined dynamics promise driving fun mile-for-mile. With its innovative technologies, upgraded interior and further improved quality, the new Ibiza CUPRA clearly shows how quickly and consistently our brand is continuing to develop.”

Powered by a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine that develops 180 PS and 250 Nm, owing to a turbocharger and a supercharger as well as direct injection, the latest Ibiza CUPRAhatchback is truly worthy of the name, and begins the next chapter of the CUPRA success story.

The TSI power unit guarantees exceptionally refined performance during day-to-day driving, while a unique sound actuator in the exhaust system allows for an extra sporty sound when the driver desires it. The seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic transmission with its extremely short shift times can be operated via paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

The chassis of the Ibiza CUPRA has been tuned for maximum agility and precision. The ride height has been lowered compared to the standard car. An XDS electronic differential lock reduces the tendency to under steer and improves handling through fast corners, and an ESP electronic stability system incorporating hill start is part of the safety package that comes as standard on the Ibiza CUPRA. The car has been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.

The new Ibiza CUPRA is a dynamic supermini with a solid and powerful stance. The new face gets a broad grille and very forceful air intakes to emphasise the breadth, solidity and power of the car. The sophisticated design of the front headlamps shows the attention to detail inherent with SEAT workmanship.

The entertainment system in the Ibiza CUPRA is completely new and the high-performance audio system is enhanced by the innovative SEAT Portable System. The highly functional unit is removable for mobile use yet perfectly integrated into the vehicle electronics system. Its extensive functions include a navigation system, Bluetooth audio streaming, a Micro SD card slot for music storage, hands-free phone system with voice control, and an on-board computer.

Additionally, a ‘photo frame’ facility allows users to personalise their system with images, while a useful ‘notepad’ function allows occupants to set handy reminders, and the screen can act as a torch for users when they leave the car at night.

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SEAT Invests £650m In New Leon Production

SEAT has started production of the new Leon hatchback at its factory in Martorell, Spain. The all-new model is the result of an overall investment of 800 million euros (c. £650m), primarily in vehicle research and development, and production facilities.

The stunning new SEAT Leon, which was unveiled at September’s Paris Motor Show, will drive the international expansion of SEAT and will increase production at the Martorell plant, where it will be built alongside the Ibiza, Altea, and Exeo – together with the Audi Q3.

The five-door hatchback is the first of the new Leon model family, which by 2014 will include a sleek three-door variant and a practical five-door estate. This approach mimics the blueprint of the hugely successful Ibiza range, and will help the Leon become a key competitor in the compact segment in Europe – which accounts for 38% of total car sales.

The production of the new Leon is not only great news for family car buyers, it’s also a big boost to the economy, ensuring 1,600 jobs on the Martorell production line plus more than 6,000 throughout the supply chain.

Dr. Andreas Tostmann, SEAT Executive Vice President for Production, said: “With the new Leon we have increased productivity by 10% and become more flexible, thus guaranteeing optimisation of production costs.”

Together, the first two generations of the Leon achieved total global sales of 1.2 million units, beginning with 1999’s original model and continuing with 2005’s second generation car. SEAT expects a continuation of this success story when sales of the all-new car begin this year in Europe. UK sales begin early 2013 – a year that will also see the global motor show debuts of the three-door and estate versions.

The new SEAT Leon is underpinned by the Volkswagen Group’s latest MQB modular transverse platform, providing a significant reduction in manufacturing time compared with the second generation Leon.

The platform also offers greater flexibility, enabling production of the three versions of the Leon as well as Altea variants all on the same line. SEAT has also adapted its manufacturing processes to ensure the highest levels of precision and quality, by the use of latest-generation technologies such as laser welding and measurement, as well as hot stamping.

The new Leon is the first all-new production vehicle to display SEAT’s latest design language, and signals an enormous step forward for the brand, equipped with a host of ground-breaking technology for improved safety and enhanced connectivity; it is the first in its class to offer full LED headlights as an option.

It is 90 kilograms lighter and 52 millimetres shorter than its predecessor, improving fuel consumption and handling, yet it has more interior passenger space and luggage capacity. Every new Leon from launch is equipped with Start/Stop technology for greater efficiency – on average it consumes 15% less fuel than the previous generation.

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SEAT reveals the all new Leon

James Muir, President of SEAT S.A, has unveiled the all-new SEAT Leon for the first time at the Volkswagen Group Media Evening. He declared that, “the New Leon requires no compromise from the customer.”

The SEAT President also used the Volkswagen Group Media Evening to unveil the company’s new logo, which has been introduced to coincide with the new Leon’s introduction. “The new Leon will be the first SEAT to wear our new company logo. The new SEAT logo reflects our commitment to clean, precise design and unparalleled engineering excellence,” he explained.

Competing in the fiercely competitive European medium hatchback car sector, the all-new Leon is the first production vehicle to feature SEAT’s new design language, previewed on the IBE, IBX and IBL concept cars. The new Leon will feature a host of innovative technologies to help safety and connectivity, as well as being the first car in its segment to offer full LED lights. The interior features the highest level of craftsmanship, as well as the latest soft-touch materials.

The new Leon is built on the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB platform and is 90kg lighter and despite being 52mm shorter than its predecessor, has more interior space. A range of six petrol and four diesel engines are available, guaranteeing an engine choice to meet all customer preferences. The new Leon will feature engine Start/Stop technology and the most efficient engine option will emit just 99g of Co2.

The new model is the third iteration of Leon and previous generations have earned a reputation for delivering a rewarding and interactive driving experience and the new generation will continue that pattern, thanks to the lighter overall weight and longer wheelbase.

The new model will be manufactured at SEAT’s base in Martorell, near Barcelona in Spain. In total, 1.2 millions Leons have been sold to date since the first model was introduced in 1999.

The first markets to introduce the new Leon will be Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with sales beginning before the end of November.

James Muir also confirmed that the new Leon will become a family of cars. He said: “For the first time ever, the Leon range will expand to include a three-door and sports tourer versions. They will expand the Leon’s appeal as well as its reach within the segment.”

The new Leon arrives in SEAT’s range during the busiest period of new product activity in the company’s history. SEAT’s product offensive has seen the introduction of its new city car, the Mii, as well as an extensively refreshed Ibiza and the recent introduction of the Toledo five-door sedan.

James Muir underlined that the future success of SEAT would also be built on market expansion. He said: “Coupled with our strategy of market expansion, which saw SEAT launch in China earlier this year, SEAT’s future success will be built on new products, in more segments, in more markets.”

The company also points out that it’s the perfect time to buy a new car in Ireland, with the limited edition offer of 3,000KM of free fuel, 3% financing, 3 years warranty, 3 years roadside assistance, 3 year free servicing all available on orders before 21.12.12.

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Cadillac Sponsors 2012 Winter Park Concours d’Elegance

Cadillac will be the primary sponsor of the 2012 Winter Park Concours d’Elegance, taking place Nov. 11 in Old Winter Park, Fla.

Winter Park Concours d’Elegance is one of the most prestigiously-ranked and exotic classic car shows in the United States. During the one-day event, Winter Park’s downtown Park Avenue area will be closed, allowing up-close access to individual autos and automotive groupings. Accenting the event will be music and dining, all combining to make the Concours d’ Elegance a special day for visitors to Winter Park.

“Cadillac is pleased to support 2012 Concours d’Elegance,” said Dave Fitzwater, Cadillac Regional Director, Southeast Region. “Our brand is synonymous with luxury and design and we look forward to being a part of the beautiful display of classic cars that will be showcased.

A free event to the public, Concours d’Elegance is expected to draw more than 75,000 attendees, many of them from outside the Central Florida area.

“Between the classic car exhibitors and the people who travel to Central Florida to see the classic cars, we anticipate as many as 5,000 out-of-area attendees,” according to Tim Weber, who oversees the 2012 Winter Park Concours d’Elegance.

The three day automotive celebration begins with a ticket-only event at Sanford International Airport on Friday, Nov. 9 and concludes with the Concours event on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.

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President of Volkswagen AG reiterates the commitment of the group to Spain

Dr. Martin Winterkorn, president of the Volkswagen AG Board of Directors, has participated in the Hispano-German Entrepreneurs Meeting, which took place in the executive headquarters of the government, and which counted on the presence of the President of Government, Mariano Rajoy, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“Volkswagen will continue its close link with Spain in the future,” assured Dr. Winterkorn during his address before the heads of the principal German and Spanish companies. According to the president of the Volkswagen Group, Spain has played an exemplary role in the last few weeks, having taken brave but successful decisions. “Of course, results are not achieved from one day to the next, but the direction is the correct one. I am sure that they will be achieved,” he added.

The President of the Volkswagen AG Board of Directors highlighted the role of the Group within the automobile industry in Spain: “The activities of our Group represent 25% of the Spanish automotive industry and, with the SEAT brand, Volkswagen and Audi, we are among the companies with the highest volume of business in Spain. Besides, we are the major industrial investor in the area of research and development, and we employ more than 18,000 people between the factories of Pamplona and SEAT Martorell.”

Regarding the current situation of the automobile market Dr. Winterkorn pointed out:
“It is true that SEAT is especially suffering the steep drop of the domestic Spanish market, but it is also true that it has the product and the adequate team, so that when the market recuperates, the brand will grow exponentially. SEAT will continue to be a fundamental element in the global strategy of the Volkswagen Group,” he added.

Dr. Winterkorn also made reference to “the high rate of youth unemployment,” which poses “a complicated mortgage upon the future of Europe. Facing it should be the political as well as the economic objective.” He also confirmed the commitment of the company to future generations: “With the ‘Start Up Europe’ Program, we are creating professional opportunities for young engineers. And also here in Spain we are manifesting our commitment with the implementation of dual training,” he said.

“The Volkswagen Group is a perfect example for demonstrating that the ‘European Idea’ has future potential. We have 12 brands in 7 countries of the EU that work together successfully. At Volkswagen, we believe in Europe. And we are willing to give our support so that Spanish and European industries can be strong and solvent in the future,” he concluded.

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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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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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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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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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