Endless options a thing of the past?

Car manufacturers could be going back to basics, if a move by Seat is anything to go by. The Spanish carmaker says it’s responding to the needs of Millennials by ditching optional extras and offering its full 2019 model range to buy in a simple three-choice sales process, called Seat Easy Move.

Instead of choosing a car and then having to agonise over numerous specification choices and optional extras, the new Seat range is based on three simple choices: engine, trim level and colour. Metallic paint is free, though solid colours can still be selected.

The only options are now provided by dealer-fit extras, such as parking sensors or alarms. Everything else is built around the core Ibiza, Leon, Arona and Ateca range of SE, Xcellence and FR. Those who want more extras can choose more feature-packed variants of each: SE Technology, FR Sport and Xcellence Lux. For less popular models such as the Mii, Alhambra and Toledo, the line-up is even simpler.

The move echoes simpler ranges offered by the likes of MG with is new ZS model. Currently you can have Explore, Excite and Exclusive, with no real scope for interchangeability on the spec. So are the days of endless options coming to end, and are we going back to a time when buying a new car was much simpler?

Furthermore, could this extra uniformity provide a boost to the aftermarket industry as folk seek to personalise their cars as they did in the past? While we may be some way short of RGM spoilers and bodykits, could we at least see the return of obscure dealer special editions? Part of us really hopes so…

Could a lack of factory options see a resurgence in aftermarket styling, like it did in the 1980s?

Could a lack of factory options see a resurgence in aftermarket styling, like it did in the 1980s?

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