Typically automakers focus on trying to put customers behind the wheel of their products. SEAT, the Spanish branch of the Volkswagen Group has just received an award for reducing road traffic. Thanks to a new rail line from SEAT's Martorell plant to the port of Barcelona, the company has reduced road traffic from shipping new cars by 76 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Rail transport of new cars is both cheaper and environmentally cleaner than sending them by truck. SEAT has sent 32,500 cars on 210 train trips since the rail line started. The same number of cars by truck would have required over 7,300 trips. The SEAT press release is after the jump.

[Source: SEAT]

Martorell, 11-07-2008

DISTINCTION FOR COMMITMENT TO RAIL, A
MORE SUSTAINABLE MODE OF TRANSPORT

SEAT awarded Port of Barcelona's Distinguished Loader 2008 prize

# Car manufacturer reduced road traffic to port by 76% during first semester of 2008

# Shipping most used transport medium by brand for vehicle dispatch to export markets

The Port of Barcelona's Loaders' Association (Círculo de Cargadores) has awarded SEAT its coveted Distinguished Loader 2008 prize, thanks to the implementation of the new rail transport line linking the Martorell plant to Barcelona's port facilities, which came into service last January. Other loaders involved in SEAT's logistics chain –Autometro, Setram and Autoterminal– have also received due recognition from the Port of Barcelona.

The loaders esteemed that the coming into service of the rail transport line out of SEAT's Martorell plant is a ground-breaking project providing obvious environmental benefits thanks to the reduction in the amount of road traffic.

SEAT's commitment to a rail transport system which is environmentally-friendly while also profitable and efficient is likewise making a clear contribution to easing traffic congestion and by extension road safety.

The figures speak for themselves. During the first semester of 2008, 210 train convoys have transported more than 32,500 cars from the Martorell plant to the port - accounting for 77% of the total amount of traffic between the two points. This has entailed an equivalent 76% reduction in the amount of road transport to the port compared to the first semester 2007, almost 7,300 trips by road being eliminated.

Throughout 2007, SEAT dispatched 31.2% of vehicles produced via sea transport. Figures for export market vehicles chanelled through the port are 43.3%, ahead of road transport (33.4%) and rail (23.2%)

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