In its efforts to bring fleet services to Turkey, SEAT has introduced a young and dynamic brand to a market that has a lot of potential for growth. Backed with the professionalism and reliability that every fleet manager needs to have confidence in its fleet partner, SEAT is building a platform on key client relationships. We find out more from Didem Altuglu Öztas, sales manager at SEAT in Turkey.
Spanish car company SEAT is well known in the automotive market, and models such as the Ibiza, Leon and Toledo have become firmly established in their market sectors. In its efforts to become a trusted fleet partner, the company is building on the popularity of these models, and their lively and dynamic branding – and it is backing that up with the reliability and robustness of its support services.
Quality and accessibility
Turkey is a key market for the future, and it is one in which the company has already built up a strong profile.
“SEAT is a young, spirited and dynamic brand, just like our customers. That is why we try to reflect those brand values in all areas of our business,” explains Didem Altuglu Öztas, sales manager at SEAT in Turkey. “Our most fundamental values are embodied in dynamism and a young, design-driven spirit, supported by reliability, efficiency and accessibility.”
The fleet market in Turkey holds great promise and SEAT’s success is built on an in-depth understanding of what clients there need from a fleet partner.
“A perfect definition of the Turkish fleet market would be that it has good potential but it is not yet saturated,” Öztas explains. “So, the first thing we do is offer different kinds of training to fleet managers. These include the SEAT product training programme for operating lease companies. At SEAT Turkey, we also assign test cars to fleet managers of client companies so that they have a chance to experience the SEAT world and the technology that goes into our cars.
“We are aware that, for fleet managers, the quality and accessibility of after-sales services is as important as efficiency, feasibility or comfort. For this reason, we offer exclusive maintenance and repair services to fleet companies through our authorised service network, which is available all over Turkey. Every SEAT fleet car we sell is 100% approved by an authorised SEAT dealer. So, once the cars are on the second-hand market, they maintain their value,” she adds.
Matching the model to the business
The network of a fleet services provider is critical to its ability to support business customers. In line with the needs of its clients, SEAT has set up a robust network in Turkey, through which it provides tailored services through 29 sales points in 22 cities. It also has 41 authorised service points in 29 cities spread throughout the country. This means nothing, however, unless the company can offer a range of vehicles that is diverse enough to meet the needs of many different types of clients. Fortunately, SEAT has several models available, all of which bring something different to the market.
“Sedans have the highest market share in the Turkish automotive market, which is why we aim to position our sole sedan model, the SEAT Toledo, as the perfect alternative to competing models that Turkish fleet companies might consider,” says Öztas. “In the sedan segment, the Toledo offers a wide boot and larger interior capacity than its competitors.
“We also offer the Leon and the Ibiza, which carry the same DNA of the SEAT brand and are well suited to customers who want performance, comfort and high-quality design. Furthermore, with the addition of the new ST version, the Leon is ideal for customers who require expanded boot capacity.”
Also on offer is SEAT’s seven-seater Alhambra, which is well suited to the needs of the tourism and transportation sectors. One of its core features is that it has enough interior space to comfortably accommodate seven adults.
The company has also brought to market its first ever SUV in the Ateca. This model showcases a confident and refined design, as well as a high-quality interior that is designed to make every journey a positive experience.
“Advanced technologies in the Ateca enhance comfort and safety, which make it one of the most innovative SUVs in this segment of the market,” says Öztas. “The Ateca has been well received since it was introduced to the market, and has become known for its versatility, safety and comfort. It is taking the SEAT brand to a whole new level, particularly for customers who are accustomed to the level of comfort that other brands in the SUV market have established. We believe that the Ateca will help us grow further in the fleet market in the years ahead.”
A track record of success
The success of SEAT as a fleet services provider in Turkey is clear from its growing list of clients. So far, its biggest customer is pharmaceutical company Abdi Ibrahim, an established leader in its sector that is heavily dependent on the mobility and cost-effectiveness of its large sales team. The company recently ordered 1,750 Leon models from SEAT.
Working with such a long-established and well-respected company is a sign that SEAT has found a firm foothold in the Turkish market.
“When SEAT began to work on the potential partnership with Abdi Ibrahim, we first analysed the client’s expectations in terms of the cars it would need, as well as the service requirements of its workforce,” says Öztas. “Analysing feedback from the client, we came to understand that the company’s employees often took long business trips with their cars. We identified safety, comfort and ergonomics as key priorities for its sales force, as well as employee satisfaction. Other important criteria were service quality, the efficiency of after-sales support and the penetration of our authorised service network throughout the country.
“These factors led to the Leon, which is one of the most popular cars in its segment. Its dynamism and quality design made it especially popular among Abdi Ibrahim’s young sales team. Leon’s driving assistance and safety systems are very important, as is its proven world-class reliability in crash tests. These factors make it a dependable companion on the road. Our widespread after-sales network across Turkey, which draws its strength from the country’s leading automotive distributor, Dogus Otomotiv, also means we are well placed to meet all of this client’s needs.”
Meanwhile, Sanovel Turkey, another key player in Turkey’s pharmaceutical industry, opted for the Toledo model. SEAT’s growing customer base also includes home appliances manufacturer BSH, technology developer Garanti Technology, personal care brand Nivea, food and support services enterprise Sofra Group, and financial institution ICBC Bank.
“Our customers know that whenever they need assistance with their cars, SEAT will be there to provide a solution,” says Öztas. “We have close links with all of the major players in the Turkish fleet management sector. Our product range stands out from our competitors, thanks, in part, to our fuel efficiency levels. Beyond that, we also offer competitive prices for our maintenance and repair services, and we have a higher cost-benefit ratio than other providers of fleet services in Turkey.”
Already on a firm foundation, SEAT’s fleet business in Turkey is on an upward trajectory.