Beginning. The Spanish car manufacturer SEAT was established on 9 May 1950. The Italian company Fiat was one of the founders of the new brand. It held only 7% of shares in SEAT but was granted a licence for the first car produced by it. It was the 1400 model. The car was manufactured from 1953.
Development. SEAT went through various modifications over the years. 1980 proved to be a breakthrough year when Fiat resold its shares to the National Institute of Industry. In this manner, SEAT became the first entirely Spanish car manufacturer. In the mid-1980s, Volkswagen bought 51% of shares in the Spanish company. One of the most popular SEAT models—the Ibiza—was the first joint project. The car was created in cooperation with Porsche, the German construction company Karmann and the Italian design company Giugiaro. The next model—Malage—became the dream car of Spanish families. In 1990, Volkswagen acquired 99.99% of shares in the SEAT brand. The company changed its name from Sociedad Espanola de Automóviles de Turismo Inc. to SEAT Inc.
Present. At the beginning of the 90s, Seat was promoted as a sports brand in the Volkswagen group. The company did not limit itself to this image. New models were created: the large Toledo, the Cordoba sedan and the Alhambra minivan. The Alhambra model was developed in cooperation with Ford. In 1999, Seat presented the compact Leon model. An 180 HP engine and four-wheel drive system were used in this model for the first time. Today, nearly all SEAT models are available in a sports version — Cupra R and FR. Ibiza is the most popular SEAT model — altogether, 4 million Ibiza cars have been manufactured. Since the beginning of the new millennium, Seat has been working consistently on its reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality cars with a sports image, offered at reasonable prices. Until 2000, the company did not manufacture more than half a million cars a year. In 2006, the 16-millionth SEAT car left the assembly line.
Trivia. In 1996 and 1997, the SEAT Ibiza won the World Rally Championship in the two-litre engine category.
Currently manufactured models: SEAT Alhambra, SEAT Altea, SEAT Exeo, SEAT Ibiza, SEAT León.
Tyres. SEAT manufactures both small cars, such as the SEAT Arosa, and larger cars, such as the Ibiza, Altea and Leon. Here are sample sizes of tyres which can be used in SEAT cars: 155/70 R13, 175/70 R13, 185/60 R14, 205/55 R16. The original equipment of SEAT cars includes many brands of tyres. Let's just mention a few examples: The SEAT Leon was equipped with Bridgestone ER300 tyres, and the SEAT Ibiza has Michelin Energy tyres. The SEAT Altea, on the other hand, uses Continental Premium Contact tyres.