The name SEAT, is an acronym for Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo (Spanish Touring Car Company). Established in Spain in 1940 by a Private Spanish Bank in partnership with other industries, they realised that after the Civil War ended in 1939 Spain needed to develop its own industry and a National Car Maker was one that seemed to suit.
Understanding that they couldn't simply start from scratch due to lack of expertise and appropriate supporting infrastructure a Partnership with FIAT was formed, with the longer term view that SEAT would make way and allow SEAT to eventually produce it own cars from scratch.
The construction works for SEAT's Zona Franca plant began on 1950 and was opened three years later in June, 1953. Alongside this partnership with FIAT, the Spanish marque was starting preparations for setting up almost from scratch an entire supplier industry background. The first car in the produced was a SEAT 1400 model that came off the production line on November 13, 1953. In the following few months the plant's production output and workforce would significantly increase together with the implementation of locally made components in the production process, in order to limit imports from one part and from another part to push to the development of the almost non-existent Spanish supplier industry and meet SEAT's assigned key role as the national car maker in restoring the Spanish economy of the post World War II Spain. Already from 1954 the use of Spanish-made parts had raised up to a 93% proportion out of total and next year on May 5, 1955 the factory was officially opened.
The first exclusively Spanish designed and built SEAT was the SEAT 800, this rolled off the production line in 1963.
The relationship with FIAT ended in 1982, and over next decade SEAT was acquired in stages by Volkswagen Group.
SEAT's best selling car is the Ibiza and remains a popular choice for anyone looking to buy a second hand SEAT, selling a SEAT Ibiza should be quite easy. Other models in the SEAT range include the Leon, Exeo, Alhambra.