Sales of the new Arona SUV help Seat to a record January

Seat began the year in the best possible fashion by posting record-breaking sales figures.

In January, the Spanish manufacturer delivered 38,900 cars, up 20.4% on the same period in 2017 (32,300). The number was also an all-time record for Seat, which enjoyed a 14.6 percent increase and posting a 45.9 percent cumulative rise between 2012 and 2017.

The strong start for sales in 2018 was helped by the arrival of the Arona in dealerships. Last month 4,600 examples of the crossover were delivered

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2018 Seat Arona

'We have kicked off 2018 with an excellent result, the highest sales volume in our history, and are continuing with the same positive trend as 2017. The Ateca gave us solid growth last year and the Arona will lead our sales increase in 2018. Together with the Ibiza and our top-selling model, the Leon, they are the pillars of the brand'. said Seat vice president for Sales and Marketing Wayne Griffiths. 'In addition to growing in our key markets, in January we also made progress in the brand’s internationalisation strategy: we have begun selling the new Ibiza in Algeria and we opened our first SEAT dealership in New Zealand'.

Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom led the sales increase, continuing on from strong results posted at the end of last year. Spain, unsurprisingly, sold the most new Seat cars in January, with 8,000 vehicles sold (+20.3 percent), followed by Germany (6,500; +12.0 percent) and the United Kingdom (4,200; +9.9 percent), while France (2,000; +15.1 percent), Austria (1,900; +7.4 percent), and Switzerland (1,000; +14.3 percent) also performed well.

Elsewhere, Seat delivered 2,200 cars in Algeria, where the fifth generation Ibiza is built, making it the company's fourth-highest market. Seat also began selling cars in New Zealand, making its cars available in five different continents for the first time.

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Gallery: 2018 Seat Arona first drive