Cars We Buy: SEAT
SEAT is, without a doubt, one of the most successful car manufacturers in Europe. It was founded by Instituto Nacional de Industria and Fiat back in the 1950s when they built their first models on rebadged Fiats. For instance, Panda (1983), 600 (1968) or Ronda were all based on Fiat Panda/600/Rondas, respectively, with some minor changes which made them unique pieces of engineering art!
The creators of the SEAT 1486 were pioneers in their field. They began production on a domestic model, which soon exported to Colombia and then broke records with its first million cars produced by 1968. Soon after that, it reached number two million—a milestone no other company had ever hit before!
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1995 sees the 10th million SEAT being produced. The event is celebrated by having the car roll out of the assembly line driven by the Prince of Asturias. A new face for SEAT is being concocted, as new models are being introduced: the Alhambra in 1996, the new Toledo in 1998 and the rally-ready Ibiza WRC and Cordoba WRC with which SEAT attains several titles.
As the new century rolls in, the company follows a new line in branding and marketing, more aggressive and more innovative. The Leon Cupra and the new Cordoba were introduced in 2002. That same year a reorganization within the Volkswagen group sees SEAT join the Audi Brand Group.