How Seat became a Global Success

How Seat became a Global SuccessSeat is one of the leading car manufacturers in the UK. But it wasn’t always that way. 30 years ago, they didn’t even exist – at least, not in the eyes of British public. At heart, the Seat brand has always been Spanish, having been founded in Spain in 1950. Currently, Seat is wholly owned by Volkswagen Audi Group, and since 2000, their sales have sky rocketed, with the brand benefiting from increased exposure globally.

So what went right for them?

Seat’s first partnership was with Fiat, the Italian car manufacturer. At the time Fiat was enjoying great success in Spain and Italy, and Seat only really came to be because of them – Seat was founded a year and a half after the countries six major banks signed a deal with Fiat which was an alliance contract, which stated Fiat had to form a partnership with a Spanish ally, in order to boost Spain’s car manufacturing industry.

The first Seat ever produced was the Seat 1400 in 1953; it turned out to be a commercial success, and the companies plant and workforce grew significantly. At the time, Seat was enjoying success in their home country, but they longed for something better. Bigger. More rewarding.

In 1967, Seat reached a deal with Fiat over its license contract, allowing the company to form an international distribution network. Seat thus entered the export market in 1969, and it is at this time that the brand started to grow.

By the 1980’s, Fiat and Seat’s differences started to show – as both companies grew, personalities clashed, and Seat sought out somebody else to direct them. As such, Seat and Fiat’s partnership ended abruptly in 1982, much to the surprise of the automotive industry. That same year, a new potential partnership surfaced with the Volkswagenwerk AG. Volkswagenwerk AG wanted to partner with Seat in order to better penetrate the Spanish and Italian markets – the lead, Dr. Cal Horst Hahn, got his wish in 1982, and Seat partnered with Volkswagen.

That partnership still lasts today.

Now, Seat is a global brand. Their cars are in over 10 different countries, and they produce some of the best reasonably priced vehicles in the world. As much as Volkswagen helped Seat, Seat helped Volkswagen – without Seat, the German car manufacturer would not be in the incredible position they are today, and it could have come at a greater cost – Seat may have partnered with somebody else.

Bristol Street Motors Seat Ibiza is one such example of a great car by Seat – this is one of the best hatches on the market today.

The Volkswagen Audi Group is now made up of Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Scania and MAN.

When Volkswagen partnered with Seat, they allowed the company to be themselves and keep their brand philosophies – in the end, what worked for them in Spain worked for them globally. They simply needed a partner to take them to the next level.

Editorial Team
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