autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Another MPV Discontinued Because European Demand Shifts Towards Crossovers, SUVs

Remember SEAT? Yeah, the Spanish automaker that Volkswagen controls since the 1980s. The Alhambra is one of the brand’s dying breeds, scheduled to be discontinued at the end of March 2020 after a 24-year production run over two generations and two platforms.
SEAT Alhambra 13 photos
SEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT AlhambraSEAT Alhambra
The reason SEAT is killing off the Alhambra – named after a monument in Spain – is simple. A statement issued by the automaker and reported by Autocar.co.uk explains that older models will be replaced by “newer, cleaner models” without mentioning the most obvious of reasons.

To the point, the Alhambra lags behind the seven-seat Tarraco and five-seat Ateca in terms of sales. The Cupra Ateca and Formentor don’t count because we’re talking high performance and higher price points, but the truth of the matter is, Europe is steadily transitioning from multi-purpose vehicles to crossovers and sport utility vehicles as family haulers.

SEAT is “reviewing the suitability of older models to ensure the company is fit and sustainable for the future,” and reading between the lines, it’s obvious that the Alhambra has to go. The minivan sold 23,840 units in Europe last year, representing the 21st part of total sales.

Going forward, president and vice president for finance and IT – Carsten Isensee – believes that 2020 will be a challenging year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, “the implementation of measures to secure liquidity will be of utmost importance while this crisis continues. Once over, our priority will be to resume normal production and sales as quickly as possible.”

At the present moment, SEAT cars and crossovers are manufactured in Martorell (Spain), Palmela (Portugal), Kvasiny and Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic), Bratislava (Slovakia), and Wolfsburg and Zwickau (Germany). These names shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because some of these factories are the stomping grounds of Skoda and Volkswagen.

In total, SEAT produced 529,019 vehicles in 2019 as opposed to 528,293 in 2018. The Martorell facility is where the automaker’s newest products – namely the Leon and Cupra Formentor – are made.

“Don’t end it here. Tell me what’s going to happen to the Sharan!” The half-sibling of the Alhambra is also on its way out, and Autocar.co.uk understands that production will continue until the end of 2020. The nameplate that will replace Volkswagen’s MPV is the seven-seat Tiguan Allspace.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories