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SEAT is a Spanish automobile manufacturer founded in 1950 and now subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. The acronym "SEAT" stood for Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (Spanish Corporation of Touring Cars), and should be pronounced "SEH-aht."

Today, SEAT reinforces its race-bred and aggressive image with sporty cars such as Ibiza and León, which have made the brand very popular among teenagers.

It was founded as a subsidiary of Fiat, with an important share owned by the Spanish government under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the factory being located in Barcelona.

Initially, SEAT manufactured rebadged Fiat models that differed very little visually from the products of the Italian parent. The SEAT Panda (later restyled as Marbella) for example was based on the Fiat Panda. The SEAT 600, based on Fiat 600, was the first car for many Spanish families, and became a symbol of the Spanish Miracle.

The first car under the new SEAT logo without Fiat involvement appeared in 1982, and was called the SEAT Ronda. This was a restyled Fiat Ritmo, and sparked a lawsuit from Fiat against SEAT, as the former claimed the car was still too similar to the Ritmo. The then president of SEAT, Juan Miguel Antoñanzas, showed a Ronda to the press with all the parts different from the Fiat Ritmo painted in bright yellow, to highlight the differences. This ended the dispute. Rumour at the time had it that Fiat was angry because the Ronda restyling was in fact too close to their own planned restyling for the Fiat Ritmo, which they had to scrap.

After the withdrawal of Fiat in 1981, the Volkswagen Group signed a cooperation agreement with SEAT, becoming the major shareholder in 1986, and owner of 100% of the company in 1990.

In Spain people joke about the car translating its letters as "Siempre Estamos Apretando Tornillos" which literally means "We Are Always Tightening Screws" implying that the cars need to be fixed often. This was more appropriate in the pre-1990 era before the Volkswagen-inspired revolution, but many subsequent motoring surveys have rated SEATs among the most satisfying cars to own.



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[Source: Wikipedia ]


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