After so much buzz on the Social Networks (Facebook – photos – and Twitter with the hashtag #LeonSTdrivingday) it seems unlikely that some followers do not know that AS has been invited to the presentation of the new Seat LeonST, as one of the four Italians media, within the group exclusive of the 30 most influential digital media in Europe.
It was a source of great joy, pride and satisfaction after only three years from the kick off. The blog formula is appreciated because is authoritative, open and uncensored. This has enabled us to carve out a niche without external support and being able to gain credibility and consistency.
In a few hours we were practically thrown in Barceloneta and then in Martorell … objective the presentation, for the first time with an event dedicated to the most influential of Digital Media in Europe, of the new Seat Leon ST, offering the truest and the best of the Test Drive that we might have!
Ultimately the organizers told us: “These are the cars, these are the keys, the navigator will bring you back home so … do drive, test and have fun.”
Just the first minute of embarrassment, on board of the Leon ST with automatic transmission (Start/Stop DSG), and then we got “lost” for two hours through the streets of Catalonia and the never chaotic traffic of Barcelona.
We used the car as normal users appreciating the stability and technologic devices typical of more expensive cars.
A smooth delivery of power absolutely enviable for such a kind of family car … and our version was “only” a 1.6 diesel with 105 hp.
A “dynamic“car ( – 😉 – ) which doesn’t give the impression of driving a SW with 4.53 meters in length with a so big loading capacity thanks to a huge trunk that goes from 587 to 1470 liters.
The litmus test would be with a fully loaded car, but other competitors, even if empty, let the driver feeling that they have a certain “tail”.
The driving sensations are typical of a sedan, and not a SW, and this is appreciated both in the city traffic and the bends over Barcelona.
The DSG never disappointed me, even when – starting from just 1000 RPM – I tried to keep at full throttle a few more seconds more to do some overtaking. The Leon ST never lost its stability, even without the activation of any security system.
But the most “exciting” aspect – and the real reason of the interest in our visit in Iberia considering that AS is not used to perform road tests – was the visit to the historical site of Seat (and not only) in Martorell*.
It seems appropriate to point out that it was the first time that external people was visiting the plant and we noticed that in some slight organizational difficulties and idle times that we had to follow … besides the presence of the directors of the structure and Seat Digital Marketing people at both local and European level.
The visit, which lasted about two hours, was concentrated in two pavilions.
The first pavilion was distressing; you can see from the photos that there wasn’t anyody inside!
There were all robots making continuous alignment of the components by laser to assemble and continuously monitor the machining tolerances.
All very clean, neat and nice but the lack of people was felt.
We went then in the second pavilion, at the end of the assembly chain, where the human presence still has a value, even for the continuous improvements in which the assembly phases are subjected.
I assure you that there were no loud noises, smells or things out of place … I think that a visit to a factory of this kind for a potential client is much more effective than many silly advertisments.
For the limited time we were there, of course it is!
But a visit to the Styling Centre or to the paint shop …. or even the assembly of the Audi Q3, would have been appreciated.
I am sure that next time they will allow us to visit those areas and provide us with more information on the new Training Centre being built to extend the one already operating … and they will also describe us their training methodology that they have mentioned as unique and revolutionary.
I look forward to.
( * ) The Martorell factory has just celebrated twenty years of activity and is located at about 30km from Barcelona, and employs more than 11,500 people with satellite activities for 46,000 workers.
The industrial site was inaugurated on February 22, 1993 and was functioning after only 34 months after the beginning of the construction. Ii represents at present a point of reference in terms of innovative technology and work organization, and is, basically the flagship for Spain and for the Volkswagen group.
His extension covers an area of three millions of square meters, that is the equivalent of 400 football fields.