SEAT, emblematic Spanish automotive brand, whose slogan is "Self thrill", has one of plantes those of most modern production in Europe, located in Martorell - Barcelona (opened by King Juan Carlos I in 1993). Celebrated its 50 years recently in the year 2000, being one of the youngest brands of the old continent. It also has numerous stalls of dealers and sales in 70 countries on five continents.
It is characterized by naming its models with names of Spanish towns, although with the launch of the Exeo tradition was broken for the first time since 1986. Two-thirds of its production is exported abroad. It is part of the Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini group; However, the designs of its cars are themselves.
The company was founded in 1950 by the INI (National Institute of industry), born as a national company at the height of the Franco regime, seeking to motorize the country rapidly. Fiat was a technology partner, with certain control envelopes the actions of SEAT. However, to get democracy to Spain, it was decided to sell loss-making public enterprises, among which was SEAT.
In a process of "industrial restructuring", signed a new agreement with Fiat in April 1979, where the powerful Italian group took control of the Spanish brand. Fiat, however, was engulfed in its own crisis, and in the spring of 1980 dissociated itself from the Pact, selling its shares to the INI to the price more than symbolic of 1 peseta.
Fiat retiring, the German group Volkswagen acquired the majority of shares in 1986. Under German control, SEAT began to record earnings in 1988, however, opened the ultramodern Martorell plant in 1993, economic hardship loom again. A few years later, the Iberian brand begins its expansion into new markets and strengthens its presence in the countries in which it was already present.
In 2007, it was the only brand of the Group VW is to register a negative balance of sales. After the complicated trade situation that has been immersed in the past years, SEAT is undergoing a makeover and a very effective advertising, and is well positioned in terms of sportsmanship with their models of cars, consolidating itself as a fresh and original proposal.
Recently, CEO of Iberian brand announced that if you plan to open new production plants in Latin America, possibly Mexico or Brazil, to reduce costs. In the medium term, is also assessed to open a factory in China.
The first model which developed SEAT 1400, was released in a wide range of versions. It began to be produced in 1953, and ended in 1963 with the version C (with new bodywork). Second SEAT model was the 600 (with versions N, D, E, L special, 800 and a few others). They came to produce some 800,000 units between 1957 and 1973, and became the flagship model of the history of this company.
In the following years, appeared the 1500, the 850, and which would be elected "Car of the year in Europe": the SEAT 124, with motor of 1,197 CC, 60 HP and more than 140 km/h maximum speed, with a wide body. This model served as the basis for subsequent cars.
In 1972 the model 127 (1972-1984) became the first front-wheel drive of the brand, with three different versions. In 1973 the famous Perkins engines, became basically two propellers of 1,600 cc and 1800 cc (then one 2,000), which gave many glories to the brand. The 133 was released in 1974, with a somewhat outdated aesthetic but not so less successful. It is exported as a Fiat. A year later came the 131, widespread.
In 1979 launched the 'rhythm', with an original design, although he would be replaced in 1982 by the 'round', by problems with Fiat. However, the Japanese manufacturer Honda claimed to SEAT by the similarity of the name round with the of its brand name. The model 'Panda' was released in 1980, and since 1986 (with the name 'Marbella') started a very successful path, which continued until 1997. Already under the supervision of Volkswagen, in 1984 launched the 'Ibiza', with numerous engines. This model is so far one of the most popular and recognized brand.