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Round-Up: EV and PHEV models for Seat; Geely buys 50% share in Smart; Enterprise acquires SHB

Seat promises electric half-dozen within two years

SEAT el-Born plugged into electric mobility  - Image 2Seat has pledged to launch six electric or plug-in hybrid models by the beginning of 2021, including the first two all-electric models – the el-Born, revealed in concept for at last months Geneva motor show (pictured) and an electric Mii city car. Plug-in hybrid versions of the next-generation Leon hatch and the new Tarraco large SUV will also come, along with the performance Cupra brand’s Leon and Formentor models.

The brand said that 2018 was the best year in its history by all financial and volume measures, with sales rising by more than 20% on 2017 to make it Europe’s fastest-growing brand.


Chinese firm Geely takes 50% stake in Smart

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has sold a 50% stake in its Smart brand to Volvo parent Geely, forming a new joint venture for the small car brand, which will become electric-only by 2022.

Smart group - image 1Production will be based in China while Daimler will take control of design and Geely engineering, with the product range expanding to include a new supermini that would be larger than the current Fortwo and Forfour models.

“We fully respect the value of smart. This brand has a unique appeal and strong commercial value,” said Li Shufu, Geely Holding Chairman. “Geely Holding and Daimler look forward to this challenging and exciting new project, through which we will further push the introduction of premium electric products to give a better mobility experience to our customers.”


Enterprise acquires SHB Hire

SHB HireEnterprise Rent-A-Car has acquired SHB Hire, the Hampshire-based family-owned rental firm specialising in off-road and commercial vehicles, subject to regulatory approval.

The acquisition will see SHB come under Enterprise’s Flex-E Rent brand, with SHB’s 18,000 vehicles taking the Flex-E Rent business to over 45,000 and came about, ,according to Enterprise, from SHB owners the Street family, seeking a buyer to take the company to the next stage of development.

“The Street family established and built SHB Hire into an industry-leader with an impressive customer base and reputation for customer service. The depth and breadth of the company’s product lines provide a good fit with the Enterprise Flex-E-Rent business,” said Enterprise Holdings, Managing Director and Senior Vice President for the UK & Ireland, Khaled Shahbo. “There are many similarities between the two organisations underscored by a like-minded service culture and great employees who are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service.”

SHB has 16 locations nationwide, and has a fleet of 18,500 vehicles including cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, golf buggies and all-terrain vehicles, 4×4, tippers and specialist HGVs.