SEAT, which pulled out of South Africa in 2008, is now leaving Russia as well. Disappointing sales have resulted in Volkswagen announcing that from January 2015 it will no longer sell any SEAT-branded cars in Russia.

2014 Seat Leon Cupra 280 2

Reasons cited for the pullout include a bad economic climate, currency fluctuations and a contraction in the segment where SEAT is positioned. Only 78 were sold in October, while total 2013 sales were a paltry 3375 units.

2014 Seat Leon Cupra 280 1

Now we don’t know exactly how it’s been marketed in the Russian context, but if they made the same mistake as Volkswagen SA, then it means they positioned the cars right next to VW in terms of price. Many South Africans knew of the SEAT brand and were aware it is traditionally positioned below VW. They then rejected it, just over two years and 2 600 units later. Interestingly there are other African countries that sell SEAT, including Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Sudan.

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