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1950 On May 9th the Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (SEAT) is founded in order to motorize Spain, a country with only 3.1 cars per every 1000 inhabitants at that time.
1953 SEAT's first plant in the Zona Franca district of Barcelona is inaugurated. This is where the first SEAT car, the 1400 model, is developed and manufactured with a production output of 5 cars a day.
1956 SEAT reach a historical landmark - the production of 10,000 vehicles in one year. That meant an average daily production output of 42 cars.
1957 On June 27th the production of the SEAT 600 model starts. The car quickly becomes a symbol of freedom and modernity for a whole generation, as it is economic and accessible for the emerging middle class in Spain.
1963 The 1500 ‘aristocratic’ model replaces the 1400 in the luxury segment.
1964 SEATs brand new headquarters open Madrid.
1965 Several planes are loaded with different SEAT models and sent to Colombia as the company’s first ‘symbolic’ exportations.
1966 The new 850 model is launched. It offers more space & comfort than its predecessor, the 600, and it is the first car to come in a range of versions such as four-door, sport and convertible.
1968 The 124 model, our most confortable & roomy vehicle so far is launched. In this very same year we reach the ‘1 million cars produced’ mark.
1973 Production ends for the emblematic 600 model. Two new models are launched: the 132 saloon to replace the 1500 model, and the 1430 Special 1600 model.Construction on SEAT’s R&D facilities, the SEAT Technical Center in Martorell, begins, with the aim to create, develop and manufacture cars, all done in-house.
1974 The 2,000,000th SEAT car is produced, and company sales rank the company in 8th position amongst European car manufacturers.Facilities are purchased in Landaben (Pamplona), and a spare parts centre is built in Martorell.
1975 The Martorell Technical Center starts its activities. The first car conceived there is the 1200 Sport, which is presented this year.
1976 The 3,000,000th SEAT car is produced: it is a 4-door model of the 127. The 128 model is launched and marketed as "Three Times SEAT", to highlight its sportiness, versatility and design.
1979 SEAT reinforces its manufacturing capacity by building a specialised plant for the production of gearboxes, gear mechanisms and differentials in El Prat del Llobregat, near Barcelona.The SEAT Ritmo is presented: an innovative, multi-purpose vehicle that establishes the guidelines of what the SEAT design pattern will be during the next decade.
1980 The SEAT Panda is launched in 1980 and rapidly becomes the most fashionable utilitarian car in Spain: its interior is simple and practical and features removable seat covers, making them easy to wash. Its range is diversified with specific variations and limited editions, and appeals to the youth market segment.
1982 Industrial and commercial cooperation agreements are signed with Volkswagen in September.The SEAT Fura is launched. Its sports version, the Fura Crono, is a great success, and becomes the basis of a single brand competition: the Copa Fura.
1983 The SEAT Ronda is launched, it is the first car in SEAT’s history to be officially exported.Exports to Europe begin, with the first sales made in the Netherlands.The SEAT Marbella is the result of a transformation of the SEAT Panda: it becomes hugely popular, and maintains its appeal among the youth market.
1984 The first SEAT Ibiza model leaves the Zona Franca assembly lines on April 27th. It is a collaboration between SEAT and the Italian designer Giugiaro, the German engineering company Karmann and the prestigious German sports-car manufacturer Porsche. The car is considered a revolution within the SEAT brand – and the most charismatic car in the company’s history.
1985 The SEAT Malaga is launched as the sedan-version of the Ronda, with its outstanding boot capacity as one of its key selling points. It is considered family-friendly, and reaches the top of the SEAT range during the second half of the 1980s.SEAT's motorsport branch, SEAT Sport, is founded.
1986 Volkswagen purchases 51% of SEAT’s shares in June and, by the end of the year, increases its ownership to 75%.1989 Construction begins on the Martorell plant.
1990 Volkswagen acquires up to 99.99% of SEAT’s shares, and the name Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, S.A. is changed to SEAT, S.A.The 8,000,000th vehicle is produced, and a new annual production record is set: over half a million units.
1991 The SEAT Toledo, the first SEAT model developed within the Volkswagen Group, is presented at the Barcelona Motor Show.
1992 During the XXV Olympic Games, SEAT participates as Partner and Sponsor of the Olympic Volunteers' Program, providing a fleet of over 2,000 cars, mostly SEAT Toledos, to the organisers of the games for the transport of athletes and personnel.
1993 His Majesty King Juan Carlos I opens the Martorell plant on February 22nd. Production of the second generation SEAT Ibiza begins, and the SEAT Cordoba is presented.
1995 The 10.000.000th produced SEAT (a Toledo) is driven off the Martorell assembly on September 26th by his Royal Highiness the Prince of Asturias.
1996 The SEAT Ibiza is the leader of its segment in Spain with more than 50.000 units per year. To celebrate this success the Ibiza CUPRA is launched.
1997 The SEAT Ibiza Kit Car wins the FIA World Rally Championship in the 2-litre category for the second year running.The SEAT Arosa and the SEAT Cordoba Vario station wagon are presented.
1998 The new SEAT Toledo is presented at the Paris Motor Show.SEAT presents the SEAT Cordoba WRC, which debuts in the top-class of the World Rally Championship.
1999 SEATs blue and white corporate identity colors are replaced with silver and red.At the same time the new SEAT Leon is released - the most powerful SEAT so far.
2000 The SEAT Salsa concept car is unveiled.SEAT celebrates its 50th anniversary. His Majesty King Juan Carlos I receives the company's management in audience. The Prince of Asturias visits SEAT‘s Martorell facility.
2001 The new SEAT Ibiza is exhibited at the Bologna Motor Show in 2001.The SEAT Tango, a concept car inspired in the sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s, is revealed – together with the new high-performance SEAT Leon CUPRA R prototype, developed by SEAT Sport.
2002 SEAT joins Audi and Lamborghini in the Audi Brand Group and under the umbrella of the newly organised Volkswagen Group.The new SEAT Cordoba is unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, adding a family model to the brand’s range.
2003 The prototype of a new key player in the SEAT range, the SEAT Altea, is revealed at Frankfurt‘s IAA Motor Show.
2004 The SEAT Altea has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show.The SEAT range is expanded with two new sporty versions of the SEAT Ibiza: the FR and the CUPRA.
2005 The new SEAT Leon is unveiled at the Barcelona Motor Show together with its race competition version, the SEAT Leon WTCC.Frankfurt‘s IAA Motor Show witnesses the world premiere of the SEAT Altea FR prototype.
2006 The new SEAT Leon FR is unveiled at the Madrid Motor Show, the SEAT Leon CUPRA is presented at the London Motor Show, and the SEAT Altea XL is presented at the International Motor Show in Paris.
2007 SEAT Service is launched, ensuring increasingly streamlined, globally standardised vehicle maintenance and repairs.The Prototype Centre of Development (PCD) opens its doors: a specialised department merging the virtual and physical stages of prototype development. The SEAT Design Centre (SDC) opens in Martorell.
2008 The new SEAT Ibiza is launched, along with the Ibiza SC, the Ibiza CUPRA and the Ibiza Ecomotive. The new SEAT Ibiza earns the maximum 5 stars in the Euro NCAP Safety Tests, making it one of the safest cars on the market.SEAT presents the Exeo, the first SEAT in the B segment, in its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show.
2009 At the Geneva Motor Show SEAT presents the Exeo ST and the Leon Ecomotive Concept prototype, and at the Barcelona Motor Show the Ibiza Bocanegra, the new Leon CUPRA and Ibiza FR are unveiled.The Frankfurt Motor Show showcases the IBZ concept car, as well as the Ecomotive version of the Altea, Altea XL and the Leon.
2010 SEAT celebrates its 60th anniversary. The SEAT IBE concept is presented, a zero-emissions sports coupé for the electric age.Two new cars are launched: a more spacious version of the Ibiza - the Ibiza ST- and a new SEAT Alhambra.
2011 928,000 visitors attend the Frankfurt IAA Show, where SEAT displays the SEAT IBL concept and the new Exeo.At the Geneva Motor Show, SEAT unveils its new concept car, the SEAT IBX. SEAT also presents the new 4WD Alhambra.
2012 SEAT launches the Mii, both the 3 and 5-door versions of which are awarded the Euro NCAP 5-star rating.The redesigned Ibiza family is unveiled.At the Paris Motor Show SEAT shows off the Toledo and presents the 3rd generation Leon.
2013 Two new cars are launched: the SEAT Ibiza Cupra and the Leon SC.At the Geneva Motor Show in March, SEAT unveils the new SEAT Leon SC.To finish the year, SEAT launches new models in the iTECH range: the Ibiza 5D, Ibiza SC & Ibiza ST; the Leon 5D & Leon SC; the Altea & Altea XL.
2014 At the Geneva International Motor Show SEAT announces two new models: the new Leon CUPRA and the Mii by MANGO.The latest addition to the Leon family, the CUPRA is the most powerful series-production car to-date.Rounding off a landmark year at the Paris show, SEAT also showcased the new SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE.
2015 At the Geneva Motor Show, SEAT introduces the Leon ST CUPRA and its first SUV concept car: the 20V20.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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