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Martorell, 18/11/2016. – SEAT’s Chairman of the Board of Directors and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG Dr. Francisco Javier García Sanz was awarded the Foment del Treball Medal of Honour for Businessperson of the Year. The distinction was framed in yesterday evening’s celebration of the 9th edition of the Medals of Honour and Carles Ferrer Salat Awards, which are organised by the employer’s association in recognition of the most prominent people or companies in the business sector. SEAT President Luca de Meo accepted the award on behalf of Dr. García Sanz.

Foment del Treball distinguished SEAT’s Chairman of the Board of Directors with the Medal of Honour for the Businessperson of the Year for the carmaker’s commitment to generating wealth and employment. This distinction highlights the unprecedented investment effort being made by SEAT, with new models that consolidate the road to excellence taken by the brand in recent years in each of its areas. In this sense, Foment del Treball especially acknowledges SEAT’s role as a major driver of Spain’s industrial and promoter of new business initiatives with this year’s launch of the SEAT Accelerator by Conector startup accelerator.

Born in Madrid in 1957, Dr. Francisco Javier García Sanz has been the Chairman of SEAT’s Board of Directors since 2007. In addition, he is member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG with responsibility for Procurement. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. García Sanz was Chairman of the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC). In 2010 he was awarded with the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit; in 2013 he was declared “Distinguished Personality of the Spanish Automotive Sector” by the Spanish Association of Professionals of the Automotive Sector (ASEPA), and a year later he received the “Person of Renowned Prestige in the Automotive Sector” prize from the Eduardo Barreiros Foundation.

SEAT contributes to employment in Spain (direct, indirect and induced) with around 100,000 jobs. The brand, which is currently involved in the biggest product offensive in its history with the scheduled launch of three new models next year (Leon, Ibiza and Arona), is the largest investor in R&D in Spain. SEAT, which is investing 3.3 billion euros from 2015 to 2019, obtained an operating profit of 137 million euros in the first nine months of 2016.

The award ceremony was attended by His Majesty King Felipe VI, accompanied by Catalan Government President Carles Puigdemont, Spanish Government Vice-President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the Spanish Government’s representative in Catalonia María de los Llanos de Luna, and Spanish employer’s association CEOE President Juan Rosell, among other guests.

SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 75 countries. In 2015, SEAT’s turnover amounted to over 8.3 billion euros, the highest in its history, and the company achieved worldwide sales of more than 400,000 units for the first time since 2007.

SEAT Group employs more than 14,000 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.

The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitisation process to promote the mobility of the future