SEAT, S.A. (Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo) is a Spanish automobile manufacturer with its head office in Martorell, Spain. It was founded on May 9, 1950, by the Instituto Nacional de Industria, a Spanish state-owned industrial holding company. It quickly became the largest supplier of cars in Spain. In 1986 the Spanish government sold SEAT to the German Volkswagen Group of which it remains a wholly owned subsidiary.
The headquarters of SEAT, S.A. are located at SEAT's industrial complex in Martorell near Barcelona. By 2000 annual production peaked at over 500,000 units; in total up to 2006, over 16 million cars have been produced including more than 6 million from the Martorell plant, with three-quarters of the annual production being exported to over seventy countries worldwide.
Our company offers the SEAT compliance certificate for this vehicle through our website. SEAT today is the only major Spanish car manufacturer with the ability and the infrastructure to develop its own cars in-house.
ts headquarters and main manufacturing facilities are located in Martorell, an industrial town located some 30 kilometres northwest of Barcelona,with a production capacity of around 500,000 units per annum. The plant was opened by King Juan Carlos of Spain on February 22, 1993, and replaced SEAT's former assembly plant by the coast in Barcelona's freeport zone (Zona Franca). A rail connection between SEAT's Martorell and Zona Franca complexes facilitates vehicle and parts transportation between the two sites.
The industrial complex in Martorell also hosts the facilities of SEAT Sport, SEAT's Technical Center, Research and Development Center (R&D), Design Center, Prototypes Centre of Development,SEAT Service Center (also incorporating the After-Sales Service division, the Customer Services division and the Catalunya Motor dealership),as well as the Genuine Parts Centre for SEAT, Volkswagen, Audi and Škoda brands.
Its headquarters and main manufacturing facilities are located in Martorell, an industrial town located some 30 kilometres northwest of Barcelona, with a production capacity of around 500,000 units per annum. The plant was opened by King Juan Carlos of Spain on February 22, 1993, and replaced SEAT's former assembly plant by the coast in Barcelona's freeport zone (Zona Franca). A rail connection between SEAT's Martorell and Zona Franca complexes facilitates vehicle and parts transportation between the two sites. The COC SEAT is available for all built by the European market.
The industrial complex in Martorell also hosts the facilities of SEAT Sport, SEAT's Technical Center, Research and Development Center (R&D), Design Center, Prototypes Centre of Development, SEAT Service Center (also incorporating the After-Sales Service division, the Customer Services division and the Catalunya Motor dealership), as well as the Genuine Parts Centre for SEAT, Volkswagen, Audi and Škoda brands.
In its 60 years, there was only a short period from 1953 to 1965 when the firm produced its cars exclusively for the domestic Spanish market. In 1965 and in a rather symbolic move, the company exported some 150 units of its SEAT 600 model destined for Colombia by air freight for the first time, until two years later in 1967 SEAT reached a deal over the renegotiation of its licence contract with Fiat which allowed the Spanish firm to form an international distribution network for its cars and thereafter start its export operations massively to more than twelve different countries, entering the export market in 1969. Until the early 1980s, however, most SEAT exports were sold with Fiat badging. As a response to SEAT's bid for independence, Fiat committed themselves to selling 200,000 SEAT-built cars a year from 1981, compared to 120,000 the year before. At the end of 1983, just after SEAT had won its legal battle with Fiat, a quarter of the production went to Egypt and Latin America. In Europe, they were represented in West Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, and Greece. The UK, Ireland, and various Scandinavian markets were planned to be added in 1984. This was in spite of the company only being able to export the Ronda, with the Fura to follow. The exponential growth in exports in the 70´s happened under the leadership of Juan Sánchez Cortés and the export director José María García-Courel.
Spain is the world's eighth largest producer of automobiles and its car market stands among the largest in Europe. However, this has not always been the case; in the first half of the 20th century, Spain's economy was relatively underdeveloped compared to most other western European countries and had a limited automobile market. In this period there was only limited car production and only a few low volume local manufacturers catering mainly to the luxury end of the market, of which Hispano-Suiza was the most successful. Spain's limited market for mass-produced vehicles was taken over by foreign companies operating through subsidiaries that either imported cars or assembled cars from imported parts, depriving the country of the technological know-how and large investments needed for mass production. The situation greatly deteriorated with the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. Car demand collapsed, not only due to the greatly reduced purchasing power of Spaniards caused by war devastation but also because the multinational subsidiaries either ceased operations or were severely stricken by the war and its aftermath.
The lack of interest shown by the foreign firms in the weakened post civil war Spanish market opened an opportunity for local interests. SEAT dates its origins back to June 22, 1940 when the Spanish bank 'Banco Urquijo', with the support of 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.) with the goal of establishing Spain's own mass production car maker. The initial Banco Urquijo's project aimed at running the S.I.A.T. motor company as a fully private enterprise but soon after 1941 the interventionist state holding company Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) following a decision taken by the Franco government on January 3, 1942. The goal for the new national car brand was not to be only another licensee car maker assembling foreign designs and parts in Spain, but of developing the whole manufacturing process from design to assembly within Spain. Because of the country's lack of expertise in automotive mass-production development, it was decided to find a foreign partner who would contribute technically and with its own models in the early years in exchange for cash, shares, bonds and royalties. With the rest of Europe having entered World War II, and Spain itself in ruins from its civil war, the project was delayed but not abandoned due to its strategic importance.
What do i need to get my COC SEAT? Information available on our website.
SEAT under its current name was founded on May 9, 1950 under the denomination 'Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, S.A.' (S.E.A.T.) by the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) with a starting capital of 600 million pesetas — equivalent today of almost 3.6 million Euros — in the form of 600 thousand shares of one thousand Pesetas each, and in a time when the country was in need of remodelling the fundamental structures in its national economy, just after the end of World War II. The birth of SEAT came almost a year and a half after the Spanish government and six Spanish banks ('Banco Urquijo', 'Banco Español de Crédito (Banesto)', 'Banco de Bilbao', 'Banco de Vizcaya', 'Banco Hispano-Americano' and 'Banco Central') had signed on October 26, 1948 an alliance contract with the Italian car manufacturer Fiat so as to form a partnership with a foreign ally in order to bring to life Spain's major car manufacturer. The favoured bidders were Germany's Volkswagen and Italy's Fiat. Fiat's bid won for several reasons including Fiat's prominence in Spain and the fact that the company established the short-lived 'Fiat Hispania' plant in Guadalajara, which was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. Fiat's collaboration with the French company Simca proved Fiat's ability to manage complex international projects. Fiat's experience in the semi-protected car market in Italy was seen as the most easily transferable to the one in Spain, both of which had, at the time, customers of low incomes and limited markets for cars, as well as similar road conditions. In Italy, Fiat dominated the market for vehicles under 12 horsepower, which would initially be the main market segment in Spain. The relative economic isolation of World War II damaged Italy and made Fiat interested in opportunities outside Italy, meaning that the negotiations with the Italian manufacturer could prosper more easily in favour of Spanish interests than with those from other countries. In 1947, the Banco Urquijo group had revived the S.I.A.T. project and in the next year the talks ended successfully with the signing of a three-part contract, with the understanding that the INI would hold a 51% controlling interest as well as a ruling act in the new company preserving a focused approach of the enterprise in the 'national interest'. The Banco Urquijo group, although a minority share holder, looked forward to assuming a leading role in the future as soon as the company was privatesed. Partner car maker Fiat was offered a 7% share in exchange of its technical assistance. This way SEAT not only would be able to reinitiate the country's economic recovery and as the largest employer in the 1960s and 1970s but would also contribute to the industrialisation of what was still a largely rural economy.
The construction works for SEAT's Zona Franca plant began on 1950 and the opening day came three years later on June 5, 1953, while in the meantime since 1951 the Spanish marque was starting preparations for setting up almost from scratch an entire supplier industry background. The first car in the marque's history to be produced was a SEAT 1400 model that came off the production line on November 13, 1953 with licence plate 'B-87.223'. In the following few months the plant's production output and workforce would significally increase together with the implementation of locally made components in the production process, in order to limit imports from one part and from another part to push to the development of the almost non-existent Spanish supplier industry and meet SEAT's assigned key role as the national car maker in restoring the Spanish economy of post–World War II Spain. By 1954 the use of Spanish-made parts had risen to 93% of the total and next year on May 5, 1955 the factory was officially opened. Nevertheless, the impact to the Spanish society could not be seen clear immediately, since the first model launched by SEAT was considered a luxury car therefore it was highly priced and still not affordable to the average Spanish consumer. Consequently, SEAT needed a second more economical model to compete against simpler inexpensive designs that appeared in the local market, like the Biscúter, which seemed to suit better to the unwealthy customers looking for a personal mean of transport in a suffering economic environment.
In 1957 SEAT founded the SEAT Training Centre in the greater Zona Franca plant area, an institution covering the training of qualified personnel and serving the needs of the automobile industry in specialized technical human resources. In that same year was launched the historical SEAT 600, which proved to be the crucial car that literally motorized Spain, being the first car for many Spanish families and becoming a symbol of the Spanish Miracle.
In the early 1980s, extensive discussions concerning funding and control took place between SEAT's major shareholder, the Spanish government, and Fiat Automobiles; SEAT needed major capital investment, which Fiat was not prepared to contribute, partially due to the oil crisis of the 1970s and in also due to the uncertainty for Fiat's interests following the end of a protectionist policy against GM in Spain. The outcome, in 1982, was an end to the relationship with Fiat after nearly 30 years, a rather surprising decision in spite of the favourable perspectives for the Spanish economy with Spain being in the anteroom of the European Economic Community since 1977.
The end of the co-operation with the Italian firm was marked by a change in SEAT's logo in 1982, and the first car under the new SEAT logo without Fiat involvement appeared in the same year, the SEAT Ronda, styled by Rayton Fissore in collaboration with the Technical Centre in Martorell. The launch of this model though sparked a lawsuit from Fiat against SEAT, as the former claimed the car was too similar to a car in Fiat's range, the Ritmo. In defence of SEAT, the then president of SEAT, Juan Miguel Antoñanzas, showed a Ronda to the press with all the parts different from the Fiat Ritmo painted in bright yellow, to highlight the differences. The case was eventually taken to the Arbitration Chamber of Paris which in 1983 declared that differences between both cars were important enough so as not to consider the Ronda as a rebadged Ritmo, ending the dispute in favour of SEAT. Rumour at the time had it that Fiat was angry because the Ronda restyling was in fact too close to their own planned restyling for the Fiat Ritmo, which they had to scrap.
SEAT's involvement in motorsport begins back in the 1970s with the brand's contribution to the national formula races in Spain and by the end of the same decade the start of its implication to rallies. In 1971, the 'Special Vehicles department' was formed with the mission to enforce the brand's participation in rally championships, followed by 11 titles between 1979 and 1983. The year 1985 was the moment when SEAT Sport was founded as a separate motorsport division and especially since the Volkswagen Group takeover in 1986, SEAT has been increasing even more its presence in the motorsport world, mainly down to VW's plan on focusing the SEAT brand as 'sporty' in order to appeal particularly to the younger generation of drivers. The result of this effort has been rewarded through SEAT's most prestigious titles in FIA championships, three conquests with the SEAT Ibiza Kit-Car in the FIA 2L World Rally Championship (WRC) (1996, 1997, 1998) and two times with the SEAT León in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) (2008, 2009).