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Seat stand for Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo. The Spanish manufacturer was founded in 1950 by an Italian state-owned industrial company named Instituto Nacional de Industria.

The company started out with the focus of becoming the first large-scale Spanish automotive corporation. The initial budget was 600 million pesetas or the equivalent of roughly 3.6 million euros.

SEAT cars started its production operations in partnership with Italian brand Fiat. The first model took three years to build and was released in 1953. The SEAT 1400 provided a significant boost in production output and workforce of the factory. Locally constructed components were desired as to limit imports as much as possible. The Spanish brand shown technical maturity in the field of automotive industry by releasing its first model developed completely in-house: Seat 1200 Sport (1975).

During the early 80s, a dispute sparked between the Spanish government and Fiat over the funding and control of the SEAT brand and its factories. Since Fiat wasn’t able to provide the required capital infusion that SEAT needed, Volkswagen AG took over in 1982, profiting from Fiat withdrawal. The first model launched under the Volkswagen ownership was the Ibiza Mk1.

Benefiting from the financial power and prosperity of the Volkswagen Group, Seat extended its operations beyond Spanish borders towards United Kingdom. As of 1990, Volkswagen Group owned 99% of SEAT shares. The first fully self-developed model under Volkswagen ownership was the SEAT Toledo MK1, a four-door sedan.

As of 2002, SEAT was send towards Audi Group, allowing the brand to focus more on sportscars and luxury coupes rather than commercial vehicles. This gave birth to the Seat Cordoba SX and the Seat Leon Mk1 Cupra R.

SEAT also proved to be a considerable opponent in the motorsport industry, with the SEAT 1430/124D Especial 1800 model finishing 3rd and fourth in the 1977 WRC season. A Seat Leon TDI model was engineered to compete in the Touring Car Championship in 2004.

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