MET the director of SEAT this week – Neil Williamson. He was bubbling with enthusiasm for his new SEAT Leon ST which I had the chance to drive.
“It’s really good for small fleets,” he said. “It’s dead practical and looks great. Plus you pay very little in company car tax.”
It seems to have hit something of a sweet spot, too. Neil said that the numbers tell them that this is the most successful car SEAT has introduced – “it’s 300% higher on orders than we had originally anticipated.”
With the Leon range, Neil reckons that the SEAT brand has really come of age. “There’s real confidence around the network, business buyers have understood the Leon range well and we’ve still got the Ecomotive version to come.
“We spent last year getting the retail proposition right for SEAT. This year it’s the turn of fleet and business sales.”
As well as the new ST, expect to see Cupra versions of the Leon – which look v tasty – and a four-wheel drive version of the Leon ST.
Pubs in service stations – are you kidding?
I have to say when I heard that pub chain Wetherspoons had opened The Hope and Champion on the M40 services at Beaconsfield I was staggered.
I remain convinced it’s morally wrong to offer alcohol at service stations: it’s putting temptation in the way and makes a mockery of ‘don’t drink and drive’ government messages.
But rather than just splutter moral indignation, I thought I’d take a visit on my way down the M40 from the SEAT Leon ST launch event. I went inside and it was heaving.
Most punters were tucking into the good value food and the majority had soft drinks. The penny dropped.
It’s not the alcohol – it’s the food that Wetherspoon is flogging and punters clearly want it. Now I understand.
Still wrong, though.