Seat names head for global corporate communications

MADRID Spanish automaker Seat has named Ignacio Sanchez Leon head of a newly created global corporate communications department in Barcelona.

Sanchez will be in charge of boosting Seat’s brand image across key markets in Western Europe, Mexico and South Africa.

'The company wants to improve its image and brand reputation, and there is a strategic plan to internationalise the brand which I will help carry out,' Sanchez said. He will be assisted by a 5-strong team.

Sanchez will report to Isabel Videira who heads the global comms department in Seat’s Barcelona headquarters.

The department is divided into international, product and corporate relations divisions as well as the new corporate communications division. It employs around 20 people.

Prior to joining Seat, Sanchez headed communications for pharmaceutical company Bayer in Spain and Portugal for several years.

His appointment comes as Volkswagen-owned Seat expands into new markets to boost sales in the wake of a restructuring that triggered 660 layoffs - and attracted huge controversy - from its main Martorell factory in 2005.

Last September, the company also named Eric Schmitt President following the resignation of Andreas Schleef.

Seat’s global sales increased 1.9% to 430,000 units in 2006, boosted by the new sporty Leon hatchback, which has been a sales success in Western Europe.

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