Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of SEAT | SEAT United Kingdom (2023)

  • SEAT was founded on May 9th, 1950 and celebrates 70 years of mobility
  • Production started in 1953 with 925 employees and a rate of 5 cars a day.
  • SEAT's first foreign export went to Colombia in 1965, today the first exporter in Spain
  • More than 19 million vehicles in 67 models built and sold to date
  • First SEAT export to the UK in September 1985: a range of two vehicles, Ibiza Mk1 and Malaga
  • Sales in the first year from 405 units to 68,800 vehicles in 2019
  • The brand is prepared for a future shaped by electrification, digitization and the new urban mobility

70 years have passed since SEAT was founded on May 9, 1950, the company that has contributed to the democratization of mobility in Spain and abroad.

Over the past seven decades, SEAT has undergone a profound transformation, demonstrating a constant ability to reinvent itself that has allowed it to continue to be a benchmark throughout its history.

Formally founded on May 9, 1950 after the signing of an agreement between the National Institute of Industry with 51% of the share capital (600 million pesetas, which would be 3.6 million euros today); seven major Spanish banks (42%) and the Italian manufacturer Fiat (7%), which provided technical advice and the production license for its models.

Originally the company name was Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, S.A., but was officially changed to SEAT in the 1990s.

When production began in 1953, only 925 people worked on the line. Today, SEAT employs more than 15,000 people and creates more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in the supply chain.

To date, more than 19 million SEAT vehicles have been manufactured and sold and more than 72,000 people are employed at SEAT. The Ibiza (5.8 million units sold) is the most popular SEAT in history, followed by León (2.3 million), 127 (1.2 million), Córdoba (1.03 million) and Toledo (1.01 million) .

Since the company made its first export sale in 1965, SEAT has established itself as the leading industrial exporter in Spain, representing nearly three percent of the country's economic exports. Today, SEAT vehicles reach countries as far away as New Zealand, Mexico and French Guiana.

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SEAT President and Vice President of Finance and IT, Carsten Isensee, commented:“Throughout its 70-year history, SEAT has demonstrated its ability to reinvent itself and successfully face the challenges it has faced. A transformative force that saw SEAT grow from a car manufacturer to a solid technology and industrial company.”

Over the past 70 years, the automaker has launched a total of 75 models, including turning point vehicles for the company. It all started in 1953 with the SEAT 1400, the company's first car, or the mythical SEAT 600, presented in 1957 and soon becoming a symbol of freedom and mobility in Spain.

More recently, the first SEAT Ibiza arrived in 1984, followed by the SEAT León in 1999, both sales successes since its launch, and in 2016 it introduced the brand's first SUV (Ateca) and in 2019 its first electric vehicle, the SEAT Mii Electric.

1950After the company was founded, SEAT built its first plant in the free zone of Barcelona under the direction of José Ortiz-Echagüe, SEAT's first president. Fittingly, Ortiz-Echagüe is as notable as the manufacturer he helped build, not only being a military engineer and pilot, but even being the oldest person to have flown at supersonic speeds, but also establishing himself as one of the world's most renowned photographers. . After helping build SEAT in the 1950s, Ortiz-Echagüe was later appointed Honorary President for life.

On November 13, 1953, the first car rolled off the assembly line: the SEAT 1400, with just 925 employees at the plant.

In 1957, SEAT launched the 600, which was designed to give Spanish families mobility and independence that no car in Spain had offered before. It cost 65,000 pasetas, which is £340 today.

In the same year, SEAT opened its Apprentice School in Barcelona, ​​which still trains students today and has trained more than 2,700 professionals to date.

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The 1960s were the years of the legendary SEAT 600, the vehicle that turned the country on its wheels and shaped an entire generation. The launch marked the beginning of the phase of mass motorization in Spain. Nearly 800,000 units were produced by the summer of 1973.

In 1960 a new badge was introduced, which was further simplified in 1962 to reflect the changed face of the company.

In 1965 the company carried out its first export abroad, a SEAT 600 to Colombia.

In 1968, the SEAT production unit built its millionth vehicle.


In 1971 SEAT became the largest industrial company in Spain, had annual sales of over a billion dollars in 1974 and became the eighth European car manufacturer with more than two million vehicles produced.

It also acquired the Landaben facilities in Pamplona, ​​and the Martorell Technical Center became operational in 1975.

During this decade, SEAT expanded its range with the 133 model, the first vehicle designed by SEAT; the 127, the third best-selling model in company history; as well as 128, 131 and Ritmo, among others.

Launched in December 1975, the SEAT 1200 Sport was the first car designed and developed entirely at the Martorell Technical Center in Barcelona. Powered by a 1,197 cc 67 hp engine, the two-door four-speed coupé could accelerate to a top speed of 160 km/h and later gave rise to the more powerful and tuned SEAT 1430 Sport, which used the same bodywork.

In 1970, SEAT entered motorsport and took part in racetracks and rallies. Since then, motorsport has always been a fundamental part of SEAT's DNA and a program that has brought the Spanish marque great trophy wins and world championship titles, including the BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) manufacturers' title in 2006 and the WTCC champion in 2008. . .

Today, the racing pedigree rooted in SEAT Sport lives on through the CUPRA brand, which recently launched the León Competición this year, joining the CUPRA TCR and the world's first 100% electric touring car, the CUPRA e-Racer. CUPRA applies technologies and features developed from its motorsport heritage to road vehicles, providing a sophisticated and performance-oriented on-road driving experience.


For SEAT, the 1980s marked the end of its relationship with Fiat and the beginning of its integration into the Volkswagen Group family from 1986. Also the badge was changed to SEAT “S” which is still used today.

In 1984 SEAT started naming its cars after Spanish place names such as Ronda, Malaga and Marbella as well as the Ibiza, a vehicle penciled by legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.

To date, the Ibiza is the best-selling model in the history of the brand, with almost six million vehicles sold worldwide.

SEAT began exporting vehicles to the UK in September 1985, starting with the newly launched Ibiza Mk.1 and the Malaga family sedan. From starting with just two models and total sales of 405 in the first year, to a diverse product range, SEAT is one of the fastest growing automakers in the country, selling 68,800 vehicles in 2019, a record for the third consecutive year.

Construction of the Martorell production facility begins.

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In 1991 the SEAT Toledo was launched, the first SEAT model to be developed as part of the Volkswagen Group.

The 1992 Olympic Games were held in Barcelona, ​​​​​​Spain, and SEAT became a cooperation partner and official car supplier of the organization of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In 1993, the new SEAT plant in Martorell was inaugurated after just 34 months of construction and an investment of ESP 244,500 million (EUR 1,470 million).

The first CUPRA model was born in 1996, the Ibiza CUPRA, the year it won the 2-litre FIA ​​World Rally Cup for the first time. He defended the title for the next two years.

The decade ended with the presentation of the SEAT León, the model that marked SEAT's return to the European C segment.


The new millennium began with the introduction of the Salsa and Tango concept models, laying the foundations for the third generation Ibiza and the second generation Cordoba.

The market launch of the SEAT Altea in 2004 established a new model generation, while in 2005 SEAT presented the next generation of the Leon. A year later, the new generation of the Ibiza came onto the market.

In 2007 the company inaugurated the new design center in Martorell.

SEAT's motorsport potential continued when Jason Plato won the 2007 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) behind the wheel of the SEAT León TDI, becoming the first diesel-powered BTCC winner.

And in 2008 and 2009, SEAT won the drivers' (Yvan Muller 2008; Gabriele Tarquini 2009) and constructors' titles, as well as the Independent Trophy in 2009 with Tom Coronel.


2012 began with the long-awaited third generation Leon, with the new model making the leap to the top of SEAT's annual sales figures across Europe.

From 2016, SEAT started to launch its SUV range, starting with the Ateca, followed by the Arona and the Tarraco.

CUPRA, formerly the performance branch of SEAT, will become its own company with the inauguration of a new and exclusive facility in February 2020.

In 2019, the first all-electric vehicle was presented, the electric SEAT Mii.

2019 was a record year for SEAT in the UK and around the world. In the UK, the company sold 68,800 vehicles, a 9.5% increase over the previous year, while 574,100 units were delivered worldwide (a 10.9% increase). Thanks to the addition of the CUPRA Ateca to the range (along with the Leon CUPRA), CUPRA sales shot up by 71 percent.


The last decade began with the SEAT and CUPRA product offensive, which presented three new vehicles in three months.

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The new SEAT León was presented in January, followed by the CUPRA León and the CUPRA Formentor in February and March. All three models have plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) options.

As part of this electric mobility-focused product offensive, more new electric and plug-in hybrid models will be added throughout the year, including the Tarraco PHEV and el-Born, which will become the second 100% electric vehicle company.

In 2020, the eScooter and eKickscooter will also be presented as part of SEAT's Urban Mobility competition.

SEAT Production in Martorell

When vehicle production began in 1953, SEAT employed 925 people. Today more than 15,000 people work for SEAT in Spain.

SEAT opened the doors of the Zona Franca plant in 1953 with a daily production of five SEAT 1400 vehicles.

After 40 years of producing models like the 600 and 127, the company decided to build a new, larger and more modern factory and transferred production from Barcelona to Martorell from 1993. The Ibiza generation and the SEAT Córdoba produced 1,500 units. per day.

The company currently has three production centers: Barcelona, ​​​​​​El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where Ibiza, Arona and León are manufactured.

In addition, the Ateca is manufactured in the Czech Republic, the Tarraco in Germany, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii electric, SEAT's first 100% electric vehicle, in Slovakia.

Today, the same number of cars that were produced in a full day in 1950 are produced in three minutes.

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Who founded the UK? ›

The origins of the United Kingdom can be traced to the time of the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan, who in the early 10th century ce secured the allegiance of neighbouring Celtic kingdoms and became “the first to rule what previously many kings shared between them,” in the words of a contemporary chronicle.

What was the UK called before 1922? ›

It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into a unified state. The establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 led to the remainder later being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927.

When was United Kingdom founded? ›

How did the United Kingdom start? ›

The Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of England (which included Wales, annexed in 1542) and the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 formed the Kingdom of Great Britain. Its union in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

What was England called before it was called England? ›

The name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period (Engle-land, Engelond). The Latin name was Anglia or Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Engleterre.

Who owned England before the English? ›

In AD 43 the Roman conquest of Britain began; the Romans maintained control of their province of Britannia until the early 5th century.

What was old England called? ›

Old English (Englisċ, pronounced [ˈeŋɡliʃ]), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages.
Old English
ISO 639-6ango
14 more rows

What was Britain called before Roman times? ›

Albion, the earliest-known name for the island of Britain. It was used by ancient Greek geographers from the 4th century bc and even earlier, who distinguished “Albion” from Ierne (Ireland) and from smaller members of the British Isles. The Greeks and Romans probably received the name from the Gauls or the Celts.

Why did the British change their name? ›

Historically, new monarchs picked a different name for their reign as a way to shed a previous opinion about them and start fresh, said Roy. It was also a way to make a mark and build a reputation, especially if they came to the throne through a series of unfortunate events or an untimely death, he explained.

What is United Kingdom short summary? ›

The United Kingdom, also called the U.K., consists of a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe. It is a unique country made up of four nations: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England, Wales, and Scotland also make up Great Britain.

Who owned Britain first? ›

Britain First is a far-right, British fascist political party formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party (BNP). The group was founded by Jim Dowson, an anti-abortion and far-right campaigner. The organisation's leader is former BNP councillor Paul Golding.

Who named Britain first? ›

Nomenclature. The name Britain is derived from the name Britannia, used by the Romans from circa 55 BC and increasingly used to describe the island which had formerly been known as insula Albionum, the "island of the Albions".

Who was the first British king? ›

Athelstan was king of Wessex and the first king of all England.

Who was the first English king? ›

The first king of England

It was Edward's son, Æthelstan, who first controlled the whole area that would form the kingdom of England. Æthelstan's sister had married Sihtric, the Viking ruler of the Northumbrians. When Sihtric died in 927, Æthelstan succeeded to that kingdom.

What is the difference between Britain and UK? ›

Great Britain is the official collective name of of England, Scotland and Wales and their associated islands. It does not include Northern Ireland and therefore should never be used interchangeably with 'UK' – something you see all too often.

What are people from England called? ›

A native of England is an Englishman or Englishwoman, and usually a British citizen by nationality. The adjective English means "relating to England". Somebody born in England may describe himself as English but he is a "British citizen" by nationality (as are his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

What did the Irish call England? ›

The name "West European Isles" is one translation of the islands' name in the Gaelic languages of Irish and Manx, with equivalent terms for "British Isle". In Irish, Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór (literally "Ireland and Great Britain") is the more common term.

What is a popular British name? ›

2. Top baby names
RankBoys nameGirls name
6 more rows
Oct 5, 2022

Who lived in England first? ›

The oldest human remains so far found in England date from about 500,000 years ago, and belonged to a six-foot tall man of the species Homo heidelbergensis. Shorter, stockier Neanderthals visited Britain between 300,000 and 35,000 years ago, followed by the direct ancestors of modern humans.

Where did English originate from? ›

English originated in England and is the dominant language of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and various island nations in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

What language did the Britons speak? ›

Common Brittonic (also called Common Brythonic, British, Old Brythonic, or Old Brittonic) was an ancient language spoken in Britain. It was the language of the Celtic people known as the Britons. By the 6th century it split into several Brittonic languages: Welsh, Cumbric, Cornish, and Breton.

What language was spoken in England before English? ›

Old English language, also called Anglo-Saxon, language spoken and written in England before 1100; it is the ancestor of Middle English and Modern English. Scholars place Old English in the Anglo-Frisian group of West Germanic languages.

How long was Old English spoken? ›

Old English – the earliest form of the English language – was spoken and written in Anglo-Saxon Britain from c. 450 CE until c. 1150 (thus it continued to be used for some decades after the Norman Conquest of 1066).

What did the Romans call England? ›

From “Britannia” to “Angleland”

Britannia, the Roman name for Britain, became an archaism, and a new name was adopted. “Angleland,” the place where the Angles lived, is what we call England today. Latin did not become a common language anywhere in the British Isles.

Who inhabited Britain before the Romans? ›

At the start of the period, Britain was inhabited by Celtic peoples. The Romans called them Brittones, so they named the areas they conquered Britannia. Caledonians, Irish and Picts lived in what is now Scotland.

What was Britain called in 1776? ›

Kingdom of Great Britain - Wikipedia.

Why did the Romans leave Britain? ›

The Romans had invaded England and ruled over England for 400 years but in 410, the Romans left England because their homes in Italy were being attacked by fierce tribes and every soldier was needed back in Rome.

Are the British royal family German? ›

The mother of Queen Elizabeth II was British, so she was only partly of German descent, even if she did display some stereotypical German virtues throughout her life, including discipline and a sense of duty. Her husband Philip, however, had predominantly German ancestors and spoke fluent German.

Why do Brits have double names? ›

In British tradition, a double surname is heritable, usually taken to preserve a family name that would have become extinct due to the absence of male descendants bearing the name, connected to the inheritance of a family estate.

What's a good baby name? ›

Top 10 Baby Names of 2021
RankMale nameFemale name
6 more rows

Why is the UK so important to the US? ›

The United States has no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and British foreign policy emphasizes close coordination with the United States. Bilateral cooperation reflects the common language, ideals, and democratic practices of the two nations.

Why is UK so important? ›

The UK remains a leading second-tier power in economic, political, and military terms. It retains its place among the Permanent Five members of the UN and is a senior partner in NATO, the Group of 7, and a founding partner of the Commonwealth.

Who invaded England first? ›

The first one took place in 400 BC when Celts armed with iron weapons conquered Kent and much of Southern England. They spread north and imposed their language on the natives. Celts were ancient people who lived in Central and Western Europe and moved to the British Isles during the Iron Age.

What did ancient Britons look like? ›

They found the Stone Age Briton had dark hair - with a small probability that it was curlier than average - blue eyes and skin that was probably dark brown or black in tone. This combination might appear striking to us today, but it was a common appearance in western Europe during this period.

What is the DNA of the average English person? ›

While the average UK residents' DNA is 60.56% European and 36.3 per cent Anglo-Saxon, breakdowns of the data reveal variations within the UK and regions of England. For example, Yorkshire stands out as being the most 'British' county, with 57.98 per cent European ancestry and 39.93 per cent Anglo-Saxon ancestry.

Were the first Britons black? ›

The first modern Britons, who lived about 10,000 years ago, had “dark to black” skin, a groundbreaking DNA analysis of Britain's oldest complete skeleton has revealed. The fossil, known as Cheddar Man, was unearthed more than a century ago in Gough's Cave in Somerset.

Who ruled England before the Saxons? ›

Briton, one of a people inhabiting Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasions beginning in the 5th century ad.

What's the oldest city in England? ›

Britain's Oldest Recorded Town or Britain's First City? As far as we know Colchester's status as a Colonia, awarded by the Emperor Claudius, was never been revoked, however Colchester was long classified as a town until 2022 when it was awarded official city status as part of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Who was last king of England? ›

George VI
Reign11 December 1936 – 15 August 1947
PredecessorEdward VIII
SuccessorPosition abolished
BornPrince Albert of York14 December 1895 York Cottage, Sandringham, Norfolk, England
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Who was Britain's first queen? ›

1553-1558) Mary I was the first Queen Regnant (that is, a queen reigning in her own right rather than a queen through marriage to a king).

Which English king was black? ›

He was created Prince of Wales in 1343 and knighted by his father at La Hougue in 1346.
Edward the Black Prince
Issue more...Edward of Angoulême Richard II of England
FatherEdward III, King of England
MotherPhilippa of Hainault
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Who is the greatest English king of All Time? ›

Alfred the Great – England's Greatest King.

Who was the first king of earth? ›

Meet the world's first emperor. King Sargon of Akkad—who legend says was destined to rule—established the world's first empire more than 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia.

Why is British English so different? ›

British English is more like French

It didn't stick around, but instead evolved into Middle English, which was a mashup of all the linguistic influences around at the time. The second time was during the 1700s, when it became super trendy in the UK to use French-style words and spelling.

Why is Britain so powerful? ›

Britain's global power originated from the Industrial Revolution and because of its geography as a large maritime power off the coast of Western Europe.

Which country is part of the United Kingdom but not Great Britain? ›

The United Kingdom (UK) is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Who was the first person to discover the UK? ›

The first significant written record of Britain and its inhabitants was made by the Greek navigator Pytheas, who explored the coastal region of Britain around 325 BC.

Who was the first man in UK? ›

The oldest human remains so far found in England date from about 500,000 years ago, and belonged to a six-foot tall man of the species Homo heidelbergensis. Shorter, stockier Neanderthals visited Britain between 300,000 and 35,000 years ago, followed by the direct ancestors of modern humans.

Who was the first king of all England? ›

Athelstan was king of Wessex and the first king of all England.

Who owned England first? ›

It was Edward's son, Æthelstan, who first controlled the whole area that would form the kingdom of England. Æthelstan's sister had married Sihtric, the Viking ruler of the Northumbrians. When Sihtric died in 927, Æthelstan succeeded to that kingdom.

Who lived in England before Romans? ›

Who Lived in Britain? The people who lived in Britain before the Romans arrived are known as the Celts. Though they didn't call themselves 'Celts' - this was a name given to them many centuries later. In fact, the Romans called 'Celts' 'Britons'.

Who gave England its name? ›

England was formed as a country during the 10th century and takes its name from the Angles — one of a number of Germanic tribes who settled in the territory during the 5th and 6th centuries.

Who was the first black man in England? ›

However, no enslaved people were freed by the Act – so the struggle continued. Ignatius Sancho (c1729-1780), the composer, actor, writer and businessman was the first Black person known to have voted in Britain in 1774 and 1780. Sancho was also the first African prose writer whose work was published in England.

What is the oldest body ever found? ›

Some of the oldest human remains ever unearthed are the Omo One bones found in Ethiopia. For decades, their precise age has been debated, but a new study argues they're around 233,000 years old.

What nationality was the first man? ›

Humans first evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution occurred on that continent. The fossils of early humans who lived between 6 and 2 million years ago come entirely from Africa. Most scientists currently recognize some 15 to 20 different species of early humans.

Who was the last king of England only? ›

George VI
BornPrince Albert of York14 December 1895 York Cottage, Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died6 February 1952 (aged 56) Sandringham House, Norfolk, England
Burial15 February 1952 Royal Vault, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 26 March 1969 King George VI Memorial Chapel, St George's Chapel
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What is Mercia now called? ›

Mercia was a kingdom during the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy; see Medieval Britain and Ireland for context. Its territory was centred around what is today the English Midlands, divided into the East Midlands and West Midlands on Wikivoyage.

Who was the last queen king of England? ›

James's accession meant that the three separate kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were now united, for the first time, under a single monarch. Queen Elizabeth I was not only the last Queen Regnant* of just England, but also the last Monarch of just England.


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