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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18: Have a Seat

Have a Seat? What the heck does that mean? Well, try pronouncing it "see it". Make sense now? Probably not if you are reading this in North America, but anywhere else and you know exactly what I'm talking about. Seat is the Spanish car line owned by VW. Volkswagen is a huge car company, with many brands under their corporate wing  -  Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda, Bugatti and Seat (did I miss any?). No wonder VW has eyes on being the world's largest car manufacturer by, I believe, 2017.

So now back to Seat. What I find interesting is that in Europe VW has a very comprehensive line of cars, covering pretty much every market niche. And yet, they have built up companies, that compete in many of the same areas with similar cars with similar underpinnings. Take for example that Ibiza SC in the pic above. Hot looking little hatch, that competes directly with the Golf. Now there is confidence. VW has let their other companies come up with great looking products for the same market. We don't see them over here, so let's run thru a few of their other cars offered in Europe and around the world........

Seat Leon ST
Seat Altea XL
Seat Leon 
To my eyes these are all interesting looking cars and arguably better looking than the VW products that they compete against, but then again I like surface interest in cars and these Seats have it in spades. So does one buy a Seat or a VW or maybe a Skoda?

Skoda was an Iron Curtain standard, made in what is now the Czech Republic. Whereas most communist countries produced cars that were junk, the Skoda was always well respected. A few even made their way to North America, when Skoda tried to make it in our market. Their cars might have been well made, but they were rather out of date. When the Iron Curtain came down, Skoda needed a strong partner, if it were to succeed against the influx of thoroughly modern European cars, so they went into partnership with VW in 1990, becoming wholly owned in 2000. Now take a look at what they are turning out to compete with their owner's name brand products.......

Skoda Roomster (gotta love that name)

Skoda Yeti

Skoda Rapid Spaceback
 Interesting names, but more interesting vehicles. The Rapid is based on the Jetta, but VW hasn't anything like the Spaceback version or the Yeti or the Roomster, but then again, no one has anything like the Roomster.

So by becoming part of the VW empire, Skoda has been able to produce up to date, interesting products, that can compete anywhere. Speaking of Skoda, I'd published the pic below a few years ago, taken on the Danube when I was passing thru the Czech Republic...........

.......these Skoda cars are up to date, but their shipping method is definitely old school. I find it interesting that they still ship some of their cars by river barges. Maybe it is more direct this way.

So have a Seat. Or have a Skoda. Or possibly a VW. Whichever way you go, you have very competent and interesting products from the same company, competing for the same customer (in most cases), in the same market. Quite a strategy. Is it working? Well look at Volkswagen's sales. They recently bumped General Motors out of second place worldwide and are gaining on number one, Toyota. Should be an interesting race to watch.

So sit back and have a Seat and enjoy the ride.

Until next time.......

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