SEAT owner's manuals

SEAT, S.A. (Spanish: [ˈse.at]) is a Spanish automobile manufacturer with its head office in Martorell, Spain. It was founded on May 9, 1950, by the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), a state-owned industrial holding company.

Sociedad Espagnola de Automoviles de Turismo or Seat for short is the biggest car manufacturer to come out of Spain. The company started out in 1950 with the help of the Instituto Nacional de Industria and Fiat. That's why at first, Seat were simply rebadged and slightly modified Fiats. They even kept the names. For instance, the Seat Panda was based on the Fiat Panda and so was the Seat 600, on the Fiat 600.

It is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group, as a member of the now-defunct Audi Brand Group, together with Audi and Lamborghini, and marketed as a car maker with a youthful sporty profile. Within the Volkswagen Group and under the Audi Brand Group, the SEAT brand itself has been developed as a group with subsidiary companies (SEAT Group) and 'SEAT, S.A.' as the parent company.

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That same year, the first “Fiat free” car appeared, named the Seat Ronda. Basically, it was a restyled Fiat Ritmo, a fact which didn't bode well with the Italians who were quick to take the matter to court. In order to settle the dispute, Seat president at the time, Juan Miguel Antonanzas showed in a press conference a Fiat Ritmo and a Seat Ronda side by side, with the Seat having painted in bright yellow all the parts that were differences from the “donor car”.

The headquarters of SEAT, S.A. are located at SEAT's industrial complex in Martorell near Barcelona, Spain. By 2000 annual production peaked at over 500,000 units; in total up to 2006, over 16 million cars have been produced[9] including more than 6 million from the Martorell plant,[5] with three-quarters of the annual production being exported to over seventy countries worldwide.

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 introduced in 2002. That same year a reorganization within the Volkswagen group sees Seat join the Audi Brand Group.

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