Martin Winterkorn is a happy man: Volkswagen is putting up big numbers in North America, its latest field of dreams, Audi, is breaking records every month, there are exciting cars in the pipeline – from Bugatti down to the XL1, Porsche's digestion continues, and now Skoda and especially Seat are turning in no-questions performance.
It seems Skoda has been on the ups for years, making the most of keen pricing and modern redesigns of the chassis and tech it gets handed down from big brothers VW and Audi. Winterkorn predicts the Czech brand will just about double its 2010 sales by 2018, going from 762,000 to 1.5 million.
Seat, on the other hand, wasn't just on the hotseat a year-and-a-half ago, phrases like "uncertain future" – code for "possible demise" – were rumbling in the background. A new CEO was brought in, new money and new models were thrown against the wall, and the efforts have stuck. The Spanish brand has hit three strong chords with Winterkorn, with increased sales, strong performance in China and anticipated models due. If this keeps up there won't be much left for him to do but, a la Alexander the Great, break down and cry with no worlds left to conquer.