A Brief history of SEAT
With less than sixty years of vehicle manufacturing under its belt, SEAT is one of the youngest car manufacturers around today, founded in 1950, the Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo or Spanish Corporation of Touring Cars manufactured rebadged Fiat models, in fact visually it was very difficult to distinguish between the SEAT cars and their Italian sisters.
The collaboration with Fiat continued until in 1982 SEAT released the Ronda, based on the Fiat Ritmo. Dismayed at how similar the Ronda was to the Ritmo, Fiat launched a lawsuit against the spanish manufacturer. The President of SEAT Juan Miguel Antoñanzas was livid and ordered that a Ronda be built with all the parts that were different to the Ritmo painted yellow, this vehicle was then shown to the press and consequently the action fromFiat was dropped. Rumour has it that the Italian manufacturer also had plans for the Ritmo, but because they were so close to the car that the Spanish had launched they had to be shelved. With the Fiat connection coming to an end SEAT had to find a new partner and in 1986 Volkswagen took a controlling Stake in SEAT, with Volkswagen taking full control of the company in 1990.
Reliability problems have been ironed out since joining the VW group, indeed the joke in Spain previously had been that SEAT stood for “Siempre Estamos Apretando Tornillos” which literally translates to “We Are Always Tightening Screws”, not a statement that can be levelled at Volkswagen and now that SEAT came under their wing, not a statement thet could be levelled at SEAT anymore.
Developing their cars through racing, the SEAT brand has thrived, with an appeal aimed at the younger driver, the Leon and the Ibiza turning out to be particularly popular. Building on these successes SEAT have introduced further models to their range including the SEAT Altea, Altea XL, Alhambra and the Toledo.