On this day in auto history – May 9th

Sun 9th May 2021

It was on this day in 1950 that the only major Spanish manufacturer, SEAT, was founded.

Originally a state-owned company with the backing of Fiat, SEAT was headquartered in the Barcelona region and had a mission to ignite the Spanish automobile market which was badly lagging behind other Western European countries at the time, having been decimated by the Spanish Civil War.

Many of the first SEAT products were restyled Fiat models and the company enjoyed rapid growth during the 1960’s and 70’s, dominating the Spanish market in an era of rising prosperity. It also began to makes waves in export markets before a financial dispute with Fiat saw their relationship end in 1982.

To fill the vacuum, SEAT entered into a partnership with Volkswagen later that year which saw the company scale new heights with the introduction of the popular Seat Ibiza in 1984 prompting Volkswagen to take a controlling interest in 1986 before it seized complete control in 1990.

As a subsidiary of Volkswagen, SEAT have continued to launch numerous successful and award-winning models such as the Ibiza, Leon and Altea, and is reputed to be the eighth largest producer of automobiles in the world today.