History of Seat
The Spanish car manufacturer Seat (Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo) was founded in May 1950 by Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) of Spain. At this time there were only 3.1 cars per 1000 people in Spain and Seat made it their mission to make the country motorised. The manufacturer was formed a year and a half after the Spanish government and 5 Spanish banks signed an alliance contract with Italian car firm Fiat; this meant nearly all of Seat's first offerings to the industry were manufactured re-badged Fiat models. Seat opened their first plant in the Zona Franca district of Barcelona in 1953; it was here where they produced and released their first model, the 1400.
After 17 years, Seat became Spain's largest car manufacturer resulting in Fiat increasing its shares of the company. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Seat expanded, exporting their cars for the first time and manufacturing key models such as the 850 and the 1500 - by 1974 they were the 8th largest car manufacturer in Europe. In 1984 Seat released one of their most well-known models the Seat Ibiza, a high-performance, family friendly car.
In 1990 Volkswagon acquired 99.99% of Seat's shares and went on to produce the Seat Toleda, which was unveiled at the Barcelona Motor show in 1991. Since then they have produced many successful models such as the Ibiza, Leon, Altea and Exeo. Seat are one of the most important car manufacturers within the Volkswagon group and have proven to be very popular. More recently they are focusing heavily on producing more eco-friendly vehicles. Every car in their current range has an "Eco-motive" alternative and their in-depth research has led to the launch of the Cenit Verde project and the Seat al Sol project to help the cause.