VW subsidiary Seat looks at U.S. sales

Barcelona, Spain. Emboldened by Toyota's success with its Scion brand, the Spanish carmaker Seat plans to enter the U.S. market.

"North America would be a sensible, strategic move," Seat president Andreas Schleef told Automobilwoche.

Seat is part of Volkswagen group's Audi division. It was once Spain's low-cost brand but VW has transformed it into a sporty brand.

Seat already sells cars in Mexico. It is looking at the U.S. market because of the growing buying power of Hispanic Americans.

Schleef said Seat's entry to the U.S. market would not be before 2008, because its models currently do not meet U.S. norms.

He said Seat's cars could be built at VW's Puebla plant in Mexico and sold through Audi's sales network.

Schleef said Seat would need a fourth model if it went to the U.S.. That could be a "lifestyle" station wagon using Audi technology.

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