History of Seat
In 1950 he founded the Spanish automotive company "SEAT". However, the history of the brand began in 31 years earlier, when the Italian concern FIAT opened in Spain its branch, the production capacity of which became the basis after the Second World War for the firm "SEAT". Shareholders of the new company became the Spanish government, in the person of the Prime Minister of Spain, Francisco Franco (in the future, its share went to the king Juan Carlos), the largest banks of the country and the Italian concern FIAT, became as a technological partner of the new brand.
The factory SEAT is located in the free economic zone of Barcelona, and the first car was built under license brands FIAT, providing new partner free access to their technologies. In 1953, was presented the first model of the brand, based on the FIAT 1400. The engine model is located 1.4-liter power unit, with a capacity of 44 horsepower. Due to the low value of the car, and practically full absence of competition from other automakers, the release of the first model "SEAT" was 5 instances per day, and the demand was so high that urgently started construction of a second plant. And in 1955 was introduced a more powerful version of the engine with 70 horsepower. By 1956 production has increased more than 16 times, reaching 82 car on a daily basis.
In 1957, began production of the model SEAT 600, which had a compact body, as well as a whole range of power units with capacity from 19 to 39 horsepower. Thanks to the low cost and high reliability of all components of the car, this model has played a major role in mass motorization Spain, was kept in the sale of a long 15 years. In 1960, was released one hundred thousandth the Spanish car brand, so for the first 10 years of its existence, could boast not all major brands of that time.
In 1963 was presented with the second generation model SEAT 1400, which is equipped with a 1.5-litre power unit FIAT, with a capacity of 75 horsepower. This model was also significant, due to the fact that just 2 years after the start of its production, supply SEAT 1500 began in Colombia, marking a new stage in the development of the Spanish group. First export the samples did not differ much from the standard models for the domestic market of Spain, but after the official opening of the representative office on the territory of Colombia, in 1966, were presented to the independent modification of SEAT 1500, developed by the Colombian engineers of the brand.
In the same year, the company "SEAT" released model 850, under the hood of the compact model is located four-cylinder power unit with a capacity of 47 horsepower. And in 1968 was one of the most successful car company in its short history - model SEAT 124, based on the FIAT 124 and VAZ 2101. Under the hood of the car was located petrol 1.2-litre power unit with a capacity of 64 horsepower. In addition, this model became the basis for the start of the sports programs of the brand, in 1969 was presented version of the model 124 Sport, and Spanish riders organized a regional championship Barcelona, circuit races.
The success of 124 model after the first year of confirmed sales figures are 200 thousand copies were produced during the first 11 months of sales. In 1970, were represented by just two versions of the model - a coupe and a power unit with a capacity of 114 horsepower. In addition, in the same year introduced the first diesel engines SEAT, developed in cooperation with Volkswagen. By the way, these developments eventually embroil Spanish brand with the Italian company FIAT. With the release of economical diesel engines, export car SEAT grew by 1970 10 times - up to 150 thousand copies a year.
In 1972 was based unit "SEAT Sport", which led to the development of sports cars for the international racing competitions. The result was the prototype race car to participate in the world rally championship in 1972. the 1970s were marked by large-scale production of new models of the brand "SEAT", and the production brought the Spanish company is the eighth largest in the world. Were launched two new plant for the production of components for cars "FIAT" and "SEAT".
However, in 1980, when the Spanish government offered the concern FIAT to increase its stake in the automaker "SEAT", was received a firm refusal, and no further cooperation. The reason for that was the conclusion of contracts by the company "SEAT" with the German concern Volkswagen, according to which the Germans and Italians will receive 25% of the shares of the "SEAT" that was contrary to the plans of the company "FIAT". As a result, the share of "Fiat" in 7% of the shares were bought by Volkswagen, through its subsidiary Audi. Two years later, under the control of the German auto giant has got another package of shares in the amount of 51% of their total number.
In 1982, at the company's plants "SEAT" was organized by the production of current models of Volkswagen and Audi for the domestic automotive market in Spain for export to the United States of America. In 1984, in cooperation with the engineers of Porsche engineers concern "SEAT" presented model SEAT Ibiza, built on the basis of another model of the Spanish automaker "Ronda". The engine model was located powertrain from the model of the Volkswagen Golf power 85 horsepower, and the body was designed by engineers of the company "Porsche". In 1985, presented two compact sedan SEAT Cordoba and Malaga, built on the base of the SEAT Ronda. However, apart from the body, the key difference was the presence of a more powerful power units 98 and 105 horsepower.
In 1987, he was presented over a compact hatchback SEAT Marbella is a direct competitor to the popular in the car market in Western Europe car FIAT Panda. The engine model was motor is rated at 40 horsepower, which worked together with the three-step mechanical gearbox, Volkswagen, and the body design was developed by Atelier "Italdesign", closely collaborated with the German concern for many years.
On the wave of the financial crisis that swept Europe, car production in the factories of the Spanish group "SEAT" is gradually reduced, which leads the company to a standstill, and forced to seek new markets. In 1990, the company, for the first time in its history, finishing the fiscal year with a loss, and influence on the part of Volkswagen's continuously growing - 8 out of 10 key posts in the "SEAT" occupy managers and engineers from the parent company. And new course development developing leaders "Audi", planning the future of the company "SEAT", closely associated with production capacities of the Czech brand Skoda.
In 1993 the company "SEAT" again increasing its presence in the automotive markets of Spain and Portugal, officially becoming the largest automaker Spain with daily production of 200 cars. In 1994, the total number of produced cars concern "SEAT" has reached 10 million copies. In 1995, based on the Volkswagen Sharan Spanish company introduced its first multi-purpose vehicle SEAT Alhamra, which in the basic version had the opportunity to install seven seats and a diesel power unit from the model Ibiza.
In 1999 he was presented the first all-wheel drive model of the company "SEAT" called Leon. The car was built on the platform of Volkswagen A4, used to create such models concern, as SEAT Toledo, Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf. All-wheel drive version of the model of león was founded on a system of Golf 4motion and the engine model is located six-cylinder 2.8-liter turbocharged engine, with a capacity of 201 horsepower. Later, on the basis of the SEAT Leon was presented model Skoda Octavia first generation.
In subsequent years, the company "SEAT" took a course on creating a family budget hire, simultaneously releasing their powerful sports version. In addition, the company attempts to return to Motorsport. Thanks to technological and organizational advice received from the company "Audi", again the team was organized, SEAT Sport, and prepared models for participation in the world rally championship and touring.
In 2004 we introduced the new generation models SEAT Altea, who collected a large number of orders in the automotive markets of Germany and France. The engine model is located 1.4-liter turbocharged power unit with a capacity of 123 horsepower. In addition, there was developed a special version of the SEAT Leon for participation in a new body championship. Specifically for this model, Volkswagen has developed a turbocharged diesel engine, which allowed him to overcome on a full tank full distance of the race, spending 100 liters less fuel than gasoline engines of the main competitors "SEAT" in the championship WTCC - German brand BMW. In 2008 and 2009, riders Ivan Muller and Gabriel Tarquini became Champions, having won the Cup of designers. However, after the departure of the team's key riders, concern "SEAT" was gradually reduce its presence in the race. 2012 was only the support of independent teams using upgraded prototypes SEAT Leon 2009 championship.
In 2004 also introduced a new line of cars company called Ibiza. Cars were oriented to the needs of youth, and the production volume has reached 900 thousand copies a year. And in 2008 was presented version of the SEAT Ibiza body refreshed sports car range -. The company has proposed a model with two modifications of the engine, with a capacity of 150 and 180 horsepower. However, after the onset of the global financial crisis, car sales Spanish brand fell sharply, the company mired in debt, and a major investment by parent company Volkswagen has been insufficient. As a result, the Czech brand škoda and the Spanish brand "SEAT" were combined into one unit, thus avoiding serious damage to the financial condition of the German concern Volkswagen and to prevent the bankruptcy of the Spanish brand.
In 2010, after successfully prevent all effects of the crisis, Volkswagen introduced a new generation of unified platforms, on the basis of which began to be built all relevant budget models of brands VW, SEAT and Skoda. In the same year, the distress of the Spanish brand was forced to transfer part of its production capacities for production models of the Volkswagen Golf and the Volkswagen Polo for sale in Canada and the United States of America.
In 2011, there were presented new cars "SEAT", which will go on sale in the period from 2014 to 2016, and a new market for the Spanish brand was named China where there is still high demand for foreign cars. This solution should allow the company "SEAT" to reduce damage from low demand for its cars in Spain, which remained at the level of the crisis of 2008.