SEAT
Country
Spain
Parent
Volkswagen group
Subsidiaries
-
Brands
SEAT
Location Headquarters, factory, technical center and design center: Martorell (near Barcelona)


Sales figures
2016: 410,200 units
2015: 400,037 units
2014: 390,505 units
2013: 355,004 units
2012: 321,000 units
2011: 350,000 units
2010: 339,501 units
2009: 337,000 units
2008: 368,000 units
2007: 411,000 units
2006: 430,000 units
2005: 415,000 units
2004: 442,000 units
2003: 460,000 units

2015 production by models:
Leon: 169,455 units
Ibiza: 160,451 units
Altea / Toledo: 32,729 units
Alhambra: 27,925 units
Mii: 24,516 units
Introduction Volkswagen received the troublesome Spanish car maker from FIAT in the mid-80s. In the FIAT-era, SEAT was using its cheap labour to produce low price cars with poor build quality even worse than FIAT. Volkswagen spent many years and money into SEAT to upgrade its build quality and image. After struggling for more than a decade, SEAT has eventually began to shine. SEAT wants to establish a young and exciting image like Alfa Romeo. This is helped by the service of ex-Alfa design boss Walter de Silva (now head of the whole Volkswagen group design) and the availability of Volkswagen technology and quality standards.

The cars of SEAT are all built on Volkswagen group platforms, although in recent years it has more autonomy of design and engineering.

Brief History
After WWII, the Spannish government under dictator Francisco Franco promoted cooperation with foreign enterprises in order to build its own industry. This led to the birth of SEAT (Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Tourismo) in 1950 as a joint venture between the government and FIAT, with the latter holding minority shares. FIAT provided its know-how and cars for SEAT to manufacture in Spain, such as the SEAT 1400 (nee FIAT 1400), SEAT 600 (FIAT 600) and SEAT 127 (FIAT 127). These cars dominated the local market and began exported to other European countries.
 
The relationship between SEAT and FIAT deteriorated in the late 1970s and led to their break-up in 1981. The Spannish used its own effort to develop its first car, Ibiza, albeit with Porsche-developed engines and design by Giugiaro. However, the company was still notorious for poor build quality and its prospect as an independent car maker was hardly promising.

1984 Ibiza Mk1 (left) and 1993 Ibiza Mk2 (right)

In 1986, it found Volkswagen group as its new partner, or more precisely, new owner. VW took 51% stakes in SEAT and then raised to full ownership 4 years later. The second generation Ibiza in 1993 was the first product developed with Volkswagen's involvement. Later on, all SEAT models were transferred to Volkswagen group platforms, such as Arosa (Lupo), Ibiza (Polo), Toledo / Leon (Golf) and Exeo (Audi A4). Volkswagen also strengthened it by building a modern plant in
Martorell and a design center.


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