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Seat - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Seat cars

SEAT (IPA: [ˈsɛːat], "seh-at") is a Spanish automobile manufacturer founded in 1950 by the Institute Nacional de Industria (INI) with Fiat assistance, and now subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. The acronym "SEAT" stands for Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (Spanish Society of Touring Cars).

Today, SEAT reinforces its race-bred and aggressive image with sporty cars such as Ibiza and León, which have made the brand very popular among teenagers.

Initially, SEAT manufactured rebadged Fiat models that differed very little visually from the products of the Italian parent. The SEAT Panda (later restyled as SEAT Marbella) for example was based on the Fiat Panda. The SEAT 600, based on Fiat 600, was the first car for many Spanish families, and became a symbol of the Spanish Miracle.

The first car under the new SEAT logo without Fiat involvement appeared in 1982, and was called the SEAT Ronda. This was a restyled Fiat Ritmo, and sparked a lawsuit from Fiat against SEAT, as the former claimed the car was still too similar to the Ritmo. 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. This ended the dispute. 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.

After the withdrawal of Fiat in 1981, the Volkswagen Group signed a cooperation agreement with SEAT, becoming the major shareholder in 1986, and owner of 100% of the company in 1990.

Facilities

SEAT has its manufacturing facilities in Martorell, an industrial town close to Barcelona. The development facilities are some of the newest in the Volkswagen group. For example, the development and design of the Audi Q7 took place there.

SEAT, instead of being a mere part of VW, develops its own designs. Every year, its improvements make its cars a new standard for the European automobile industry, in fact, the Seat Leon has been recently recognized by the German press as the most competitive model of the year, wining the award against other cars like VW Golf, Skoda Octavia and Audi A4.

Presence in different markets

The company develops and designs its own models of cars in accordance with the policies of the Volkswagen Group. Some of its cars have been sold outside Europe as Volkswagens, such as the SEAT Ibiza hatchback, known in South Africa as the Volkswagen Polo Playa, the SEAT Inca panel van as the Volkswagen Caddy, or the SEAT Córdoba also known as the Volkswagen Polo Classic.

Rumors of a SEAT model being sold as a Volkswagen in Canada and the United States to supplement the VW brand's lineup there have occasionally circulated, but have always been unsubstantiated and ultimately proven to be false. SEAT markets 6 models in Mexico, and has dealer presence in 27 Mexican states .

SEAT's presence in international markets (outside of Europe) has yet to be realised with the failed plan to launch SEAT in Canada in 1994 and with the withdrawing of SEAT from the Australian market after only selling its range from 1995-1999. SEAT is also positioned to launch in the United States sometime after 2008, although this has yet to be verified as a certainty. SEAT currently continues to expand to international markets under Volkswagen's wings, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.

Popular culture

In Spain people used to joke about the car translating its letters as Siempre Estamos Apretando Tornillos, which literally means "We Are Always Tightening Screws", implying that the cars need to be fixed often. This was more appropriate in the pre-1990 era before the Volkswagen-inspired revolution, but many subsequent motoring surveys have rated SEATs among the most satisfying cars to own.

Lara Croft has been used to advertise for SEAT, where she changes vehicles in the way she changed items. The cars were a yellow SEAT Córdoba Vario with matching Jet ski (to escape from a Tyrannosaurus rex, a green SEAT Arosa (to escape armed bikers), a red SEAT Ibiza Mk 1 (to jump a destroyed bridge), and an aqua SEAT Alhambra (to pick up six hitch-hiking surfers).

Model range

Earlier models

  • SEAT 600/800
  • SEAT 850
  • SEAT 1200 Sport
  • SEAT 1400
  • SEAT 1430
  • SEAT 1500
  • SEAT 124
  • SEAT 127
  • SEAT 128
  • SEAT 131
  • SEAT 132
  • SEAT 133
  • SEAT Fura
  • SEAT Panda
  • SEAT Ritmo
  • SEAT Ronda
  • SEAT Terra
  • SEAT Inca
  • SEAT Málaga
  • SEAT Marbella
  • SEAT Arosa

Current models

Current models are named after Spanish placenames.

  • SEAT León TDi WTCC
  • SEAT Ibiza
  • SEAT Cordoba
  • SEAT León
  • SEAT Altea
  • SEAT Altea XL
  • SEAT Altea freetrack
  • SEAT Toledo
  • SEAT Alhambra

Concept models

  • SEAT Cupra GT
  • SEAT Formula
  • SEAT Salsa
  • SEAT Tango
  • SEAT Altea Freetrack Prototype
  • SEAT Tribu

List of all Seat cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

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