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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2010 Seat Exeo Revealed and It’s a Rebadged 2008 Audi A4!

The rather unflattering title is not an exaggeration of mine, this is exactly what my source said: http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2008/08/2010-seat-exeo-revealed-and-its.html

And, well, look for yourselves - those images were submitted by VAG to the patent office to protect the design of their all-new first-ever Seat midsize car:



More pics available at the above link - for the record, the Avant will also get rebadged, in an even more obvious way.

This gives some comfort to all of us concerned about GM's unfaltering penchant to rebadge everything. Mind you, also, this is NOT the all-new A4 with this front-midship engine and whatnot. This is a car that just went out of production earlier this year!

I'll post my analysis below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
OK now, for those who want to know more:

1. What is Seat?

Seat is a Spanish automaker taken over by VW in 1990. It actually has more than a half a century of history behind itself, and for the most of it, simply manufactured rebadged Fiat models for the Spanish market, then for a brief period broke off to develop some models independently, more or less based on the old Fiats, and sell them Europewide, only to resort to VW to help them with quality and development issues.

2. But what kind of brand exactly Seat is?

Well, this is not entirely clear even to VAG. At first, they were groomed by VW to be kind-of "budget" alternative to VWs, as they outgrew their original mission of being "people's cars". VW-based Seats were slightly larger than corresponding VWs, and in a way slid between VW's own offerings - i.e. the subcompact Ibiza was larger than the Polo it was mostly based upon, but smaller than the Golf. They also tended to use a mixture of components from concurrent VWs and models that went out of production, i.e. old Golfs.

But then came Skoda, which VW purchased later, and which essentially filled the same mission, with even greater success due to its established position in Eastern Europe and other factors. So VW had to reinvent Seat.

They tried to reposition them as a sporty brand akin to Alfa Romeo, but the problem was that VW was the premium brand, not Seat, and that the offerings, while attractive-looking, were little than more rounded VWs or Skodas with a selection of engines including both powerful turbos AND very small engines designed to fit favorably with the German tax system. A 60 HP car could've been sporty in 1912, but not in 2002...

Finally, Seat got a selection of MPV-like vehicles, which did not share VW's "refrigerator" look, but also weren't as spacious. They also didn't quite convey the "sporty message". Seat also got a new stylist, which designed the "angry warthog" front end seen above.

3. Why an Audi?

Under the new VAG arrangement, Audi leads a "sporty" group, which encompasses the Inglostadt brand, SEAT, Lamborghini and, I think, Bugatti, while Skoda, Bentley and VW form the, well, "non-sporty" (?) group - that is why VW built the Scirocco obviously ;)

This was a way of trying to somehow reorganise the cluster of quite overlapping portfolio of brands, and also appease the ambitions of VAG managers, such as the imperious Audi head, who now heads the entire concern. The problem is that it actually created two competing groups within one company. So, now, Audi won't share platforms with the lowly VW, but will hand down their expired models to Seat, while VW will do the same with Skoda while trying to upstage Audi. How thoughtful.

4. What the hell is Exeo?

I don't know, and I am not sure if VW knows either. Traditionally, Seats were named after locations in Spain - Marbella, Malaga, Ibiza, Cordoba, Alhambra, Toledo, Leon (a city and region). This car replaces the unsuccesful Seat Toledo, which for 3 generations was:

1. A mixture of old and new Golf parts with an oversized body and a huge trunk, marketed as an alternative to midsize cars for less money - this generation was fairly successful, but suffered from quality/reliability issues.

2. A more bubbly version of Skoda Octavia / VW Bora, with limited access to its large trunk through a very small opening in the rear - reasonable sales, but overshadowed by the Octavia, and many other compacts. A hatchback version, Seat Leon, was developed and became much more popular.

3. A mixture between an MPV and a sedan, i.e. a Seat Altea compact MPV with a vestigial notchback trunk, and a "midsize" price tag. It bombed.

It is understandable why VW would want us to forget about their failed, yet daring for a company likeVW, experiment the 3rd Toledo was. Yet still, the name has recognition, and sounds nice. It was almost waiting for a vehicle like the above one to really deserve it.

5. Will it be coming to the US?

I doubt it. VW, for some reason, is curbing international ambitions of their non-German core brands, and if anybody, Skoda gets the green light (they are already in India and China, manufactured locally, though still not in North America). For Seat, it would've made sense to take care of Latin America, where VW is juggling their position of market leader thanks to a selection of ancient or budget models, such as Fox, Gol and Santana, and the image of a sophisticated German manufacturer with their newer models.

IMHO, it would've made sense, even with some marketing gamble, to move the older models to Seat (which seems to be returning to its role as "life extender" for good constructions anyway), and free up VW to become a more "premium" brand on a global scale, yet still. Not to mention e.g. the Brazilian Gol could've still sold well as an alternative to Dacias in other parts of the world:

 

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Is it me or do that rear looks too Mercurish :D Milan too me
 

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And this is why VW's still got unresolved issues with platform sharing an semi-rebadging.
And that's why Audi is really stalled when it comes going up to the next level in competing with Mercedes and BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't see where Audi's got issues. I believe they are currently absolutely on par with both Merc and BMW, battling some remains of perceptions issues, perhaps in the same place where BMW was in the early 1990s, or even farther. I believe they are not quite stalled, as there is no "next level". They've just reached the top, and actually are even ahead of the others in some areas.
 

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2010 Seat Exeo Revealed and It’s a Rebadged 2008 Audi A4!

The rather unflattering title is not an exaggeration of mine, this is exactly what my source said: http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2008/08/2010-seat-exeo-revealed-and-its.html

And, well, look for yourselves - those images were submitted by VAG to the patent office to protect the design of their all-new first-ever Seat midsize car:



More pics available at the above link - for the record, the Avant will also get rebadged, in an even more obvious way.

This gives some comfort to all of us concerned about GM's unfaltering penchant to rebadge everything. Mind you, also, this is NOT the all-new A4 with this front-midship engine and whatnot. This is a car that just went out of production earlier this year!

I'll post my analysis below.
When I saw some initial sketches at carbodydesign.com, the first thing I though was how much it looks like an Audi A4. This rebadge is kinda cheesy, IMO.
 

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I don't know, that's kind of an interesting idea. Doing a bit of changing and giving the previous generation of the premium brand to the lower end volume brand. Never seen that done really with a major manufacturer.
 

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Hmmmm, maybe Saturn could be re-invented as a budget re-hash of old GM platforms. They could sell the Cobalt, last gen Aveo etc....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Currently most GM brands sell last-gen cars, as GM cannot get their stuf together to develop next generations :D

Doing a bit of changing and giving the previous generation of the premium brand to the lower end volume brand.
Sometime ago I thought that might be a good idea for PSA to revive Talbot in that capacity to help Citroen and Peugeot go upscale...
 

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The north/south-division scheme is over at VW. Seat now complements Škoda as a sub-VW brand. The division between them should be - in my opinion - this way: Škoda competes with conservative, traditional, value-for-money brands e.g. Toyota, Hyundai and Chevrolet while Seat concentates on Fiat and the Frenchs as a sporty, style-for-money brand. For example, in the C segment, Volkswagen offers everything. The Golf, Jetta, Golf Plus, Touran and some niche sporty models. Škoda has the Octavia liftback sedan and wagon but it is Seat who offerrs the hatch and mini-minivan (Altea). So you have no more than one variation of original VW body style. exeo is just a stop-gap as the MQB platform will debut with Audi Q1 in a year or two. And it is yet again a complement to Škoda as a slick sedan in contrast to jumbo-sized Superb.
The two brands have also distinct spheres of influence. Škoda is strong in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Asia and Seat should have stonger position in Western Europe and Latin America.
P.S. The Gol would make a fabulous Felicia to upstage the Logan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, VW would want it to be that way, but ends up competing with each other constantly, and Seat is always the red-headed stepchild. I don't think Skoda needs the Gol - Fabia and Octavia do well enough. Seat could, however, use the Gol (especially the previous, better-looking model, which owed a lot to the Ibiza). I still believe VW Latin America should be SEAT, with the brand acting also as European outlet for their produce.
 

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In fact, the overlapping brand is Volkswagen itself. It restricts both Seat and Škoda and Audi would have a simpler life too. As for the Gol, it would have much bigger potential as a Škoda and there were rumours that the old Fabia sedan would be decontented and used as a low-cost model for Ukraine and further eastbound. The Gol, especially the sedan, could do the job. Even the Saveiro could be used as a Felicia pick-up replacemet. Well, even Renault is able to squeeze the Thalia between Logan and Clio, so why not Škoda.
As concerning Latin America. A Central European would certainly presume that mediterranean marque from a country with the same language must be doing better than the teutonic one, n´est-ce pas? :confused::)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As for the Gol, it would have much bigger potential as a Škoda
Why so, apart from you being Czech, I presume?

As concerning Latin America. A Central European would certainly presume that mediterranean marque from a country with the same language must be doing better than the teutonic one, n´est-ce pas?
Eh?
 

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A factory in India, China and Russia. Established position as a value-for-money brand. Seat would have to completly reshuffle its portfolio and image -again. And without guaranteed succes.
The Chinese are pretty excited about the Octavia Mingrui plus Octavia Tour is in demand even though it is twelve years old. A smaller model in the vein of Honda City and Renault Thalia fits in the brands message.
And as a Czech I am not content with VW as it forces Skoda to restrict its potential. Engines in Roomster are pretty tragic. Yet without VW it would compete with Lada and Zastava.:rolleyes: i have to be realistic.:(

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A bit of misunderstanding. :confused:
I thought you suggestet Seat to replace VW in Latin America, but you want VW do Brasil to replace Seat in Europe. I don´t know if it coul work because Seat´s own Ibiza/Cordoba are the only trouble-free models in Europe and VW do Brasil only develops the Gol family. Consumers would need to move from the low-cost Gol to pretty stylish Leon. I just feel - nationality aside - that Skoda is more natural fit for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
1a) Factories belong to VAG, not Skoda as such - they can build whatever VAG fancies

1b) Well, value-for-money does not mean "ultra-cheap", like in case of Dacia. If anything, the new vehicle could undermine Skoda's position as a "passable" brand (you don't get strange looks if you drive a Skoda, but you get asked "why?" in a Dacia)

1c) Seat hasn't had much success anyway, while Skoda enjoys an enduring one. I wouldn't mingle with that, but Seat needs to be reinvented, and I believe not as Audi's dumping ground (the Exeo will be more expensive than any Seat but Alhambra anyway, which is a big gamble)

2) I suggest for Seat as a brand to take over cheaper, budget-oriented models, such as Fox or Gol, as well as Santana and (old) Jetta replacements. You want to go cheap'n'cheerful - go Seat. This way, VW maintains a unified global identity of a slightly upscale brand. You don't have to share your coveted Passat's badge with somebody driving a living fossil Santana 3000.

As concerns individual models, I am rather speaking of future developments, regardless of current models, although the Altea family could sit pretty well above the Fox/Spacefox. Seat's recent styling exploits are downright puckalicious anyway, so I guess they need a fresh start anyway.
 
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