SEAT, S.A. or Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo is a Spanish automaker that was officially established in 1950 but dating its origin back in 1940 when a group of industrial companies, Hispano-Suiza, Basconia, Duro-Felguera, S.E. de Construcción Naval, Euskalduna, S.E. de Construcciones Metálicas, Fundiciones Bolueta, Echevarría etc., founded the ‘Sociedad Ibérica de Automóviles de Turismo’ (S.I.A.T.) aiming to produce a domestic mass producing manufacturer of vehicles. The aim of the group is to also design, manufacture and assemble entire vehicles in Spain using Spaniard domestic products. However, when the World War II broke out, S.I.A.T. had to postpone its plans for a domestic mass automaker.
SEAT was officially founded on May 9, 1950 with the same aim as its predecessor, SIAT. Incidentally, in 1948, Spanish Government banks formed an alliance with Fiat so that the foreign company will be able to support Spain’s major car manufacturer. While the main Spanish plant was under construction, the first vehicle was being manufactured from scratch. It produced the first vehicle named, SEAT 1400 in 1953. Altogether, plants for parts and vehicle assembly facilities grew in number thus increasing the automobile manufacturing capability of SEAT and by 1954, production of SEAT car parts have increased, and by 1955, the factory officially opened.
SEAT began its roots by rebadging Fiat vehicles until it was able to establish technical independence and expertise in the business that it started manufacturing its own designs. This paved way for the SEAT 800 in 1963 and the SEAT 1200 Sport in 1975.
In 1967, SEAT took the dominating spot for the country’s largest auto manufacturer. In the same year, the limitations for Spanish vehicles to be exported have been lifted allowing Fiat to have a bigger stake hold in the company. In 1970, the company collaborated with Fiat in building separate facilities for research and development that SEAT may begin to produce its own research projects independently.
In the 1980s, the partnership between SEAT and Fiat has come to an end due to the lack of capital support on Fiat’s end. The end of this relationship gave birth to the company’s logo. Thus producing the first line of vehicle officially badged with the SEAT logo, the SEAT Ronda. In 1982, Volkswagen entered a joint venture with SEAT producing the Volkswagen Passat-Santana and Polo-Derby. By 1986, Volkswagen became the major shareholder of SEAT.
From 2002 to 2007, SEAT became part of the Audi Brand Group together with Audi and Lamborghini in mainly producing sports vehicles. After which, SEAT officially moved its headquarters in Martorell.
The present logo of SEAT was created in 2012 as the more modern version of the 1999 logo. The 1999 logo sported a letter ‘S’ with two diagonal lines passing through it. In 2012, it retained only one slash diagonally cutting through the letter ‘S’ and subsequently dropping the red outline.
- SEAT 600
This is the official vehicle that lunched SEATs independence as an automaker in Spain. This vehicle has sold so many units to service Spanish families that it became the symbol of the Spanish Miracle.
- SEAT Ronda
Also known as 022A, this small family car was produces from 1982 to 1986.in the United Kingdom, the SEAT Ronda was sold as the SEAT Malaga hatchback.
- SEAT Ibiza
The Ibiza’s production began in 1984 until now. It is a supermini car named after a Spanish city, Ibiza. This is SEAT’s best-selling car to date.
SEAT’s main facility since 2007 is found in Martorell. The plant has SEAT’s Technical Center, Research and Development, Design Center, Prototypes Centre of Development, SEAT Service Center and Parts Manufacturing Unit for SEAT, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda. SEAT also has facilities in Barcelona and Pamplona. There are also facilities in different countries like Bratislave, Slovakia; Palmela AutoEuropa, Portugal; Wolfburg, Germany; and, Belgium.
What To Love about SEAT?
Excellent Engine and Superior Design
SEAT vehicles have its dedicated facilities just for engine production and design, separately. With these concentrated areas, SEAT vehicles are producing locally made engines that are up to par with international standard brands.
What Not To Love About SEAT?
More Expensive, Lesser Quality
Although SEAT vehicles are bought for a reasonable price, it is still relatively expensive compared to other brands of the same car type, especially its superminis.
Images Source: Wikimedia.org.