Timeline 2020-1950

Timeline 2020-1950

2020: The company celebrated its 70th anniversary with the announcement of a 5,000 million euros investment plan for the period 2020-2025. The aim of this plan is to drive the transformation of the automotive sector in Spain and the commitment to making the country's electric future a reality.

In 2020 Wayne Griffiths took over as President of SEAT and CUPRA, leading the transformation of the company and its brands towards electrification and sustainable mobility. The company's Executive Committee also welcomed the new Executive Vice-President for R&D, Dr. Werner Tietz, and Vice-President for Production and Logistics, Herbert Steiner. Jorge Diez was also appointed as the new Head of Design.

In the context of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, SEAT once again demonstrated its commitment to society by manufacturing 6,000 emergency respirators to help medical centers throughout Spain in the face of the health crisis. In addition, the company was the first company in Spain to carry out PCR tests on its more than 15,000 workers to guarantee a safe return to work, managing to maintain production activity with hardly any contagions within the facilities.

Despite the economic effects of the pandemic, SEAT S.A. has been able to maintain its market share in Europe as a whole, and even increase it in markets such as Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Israel and Turkey.

In 2020, the entire new SEAT Leon family was launched, including the first plug-in hybrid in the brand's history, the SEAT Leon e-HYBRYD. Production of the Tarraco e-HYBRYD, which will be the company's first electrified SUV, also began in 2020, and the SEAT Ateca has been revamped with a more emotional exterior design and an updated interior.

Following its consolidation CUPRA launched its own range with the production of the CUPRA Formentor, the first vehicle developed and designed exclusively for the brand, which will be available from 2021. This new model, together with the announcement of the CUPRA Born, the brand's first 100% electric car, became the spearhead of CUPRA's offensive. In 2020 the CUPRA Garage, its new corporate headquarters in Spain, was also inaugurated.

CASA SEAT opened its doors in Barcelona with the aim of being the reference point for showcasing the latest mobility products and services, and to become a meeting point for the city's agenda and new trends. CASA SEAT will explore the future of innovation, mobility, technology and design.

2020 served SEAT to consolidate its commitment to urban mobility with the creation of the SEAT MÓ business unit. With the aim of offering mobility solutions in urban environments, the company presented the new SEAT MÓ eKickScooter 65 scooter and the its first 100% electric scooter, the SEAT MÓ eScooter 125. The company also deployed its first motosharing service in Barcelona, with 632 eScooters available to citizens, with a software service developed entirely by SEAT:CODE.

For the first time, in addition to hardware, the carmaker has developed software with the help of SEAT:CODE, which created its first multimodal mobility platform. Through its SEAT:CODE software development centre, the company demonstrated its ability to continue innovating in mobility despite the uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, delivering more than 30 projects for different customers and continued to increase its workforce with 85 more professionals. In 2020, SEAT:CODE opened its new headquarters in the center of Barcelona.

The company faces 2021 with sustainable growth as a transversal objective, firmly committed to electrification, a key factor to support the recovery of the Spanish economy.

2019: A new record year in sales for SEAT and the start of its electric offensive. Vehicle deliveries amounted to 574,100 units and grew by 10.9% - the best result in the company's 69-year history. It was the year the company launched the Mii electric, its first 100% electric model, showed the el-Born for the first time and presented the plug-in hybrid version of the SEAT Tarraco. The company thus began a first phase of electrification to which it will add five more models by early 2021.

SEAT strengthened its urban mobility strategy last year and was chosen as the leading brand within the Volkswagen Group to define the strategy and offer urban mobility products. In this context, the company presented its strategic business unit focused on the development of urban mobility solutions, SEAT Urban Mobility. The company also committed to sharing in 2019 and extended its carsharing service to L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona).

‘Move to Zero’. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company continues to make headway in progressively reducing the environmental impact of its activity. By the end of 2019, the company had improved its key environmental indicators by 43%. The aim is to reduce its environmental impact by up to 50% by 2025. 

The company's commitment to innovation as a lever for change is growing. In 2019 SEAT presented SEAT:CODE, the software development centre for accelerating its digital transformation and contributing to new mobility solutions. At the same time, the SEAT Martorell plant consolidated its position as a benchmark in Industry 4.0 and became the first Spanish factory to feature a pilot service to supply parts via drones.

2019 was also the year of CUPRA's consolidation. The brand strengthened its organisational structure to consolidate its international expansion, with a 71.8% growth over the previous year and close to 24,700 units sold. The brand also kicked off its product offensive with the presentation of the CUPRA Formentor and CUPRA Tavascan prototypes, two vehicles developed specifically for the brand. In addition, the construction of its corporate headquarters in Martorell was completed and the first CUPRA Garage was inaugurated in Mexico.

2018: SEAT new launches, the requirements derived from the fourth industrial revolution and digitalization contributed to the achievement of the highest sales volume (517,600 vehicles, exceeding the record of the year 2000) and the best results in the history of the company.

In February, SEAT announced the launch of CUPRA, a new vehicle brand with its own identity that offers a renewed vision of the contemporary sporting spirit. The CUPRA Ateca, presented in March at the Geneva International Motor Show, was the vehicle chosen by the new brand to open its range of models.

In the field of new types of mobility and the connectivity between the car and the user, in 2018 the company presented the SEAT ID with the aim of offering to SEAT costumers a tool for customising and improving their user experience. In 2018 SEAT also became the first car manufacturer in the world to integrate Shazam and has pioneered the incorporation of Amazon Alexa into its models.

The company collaborates with Telefónica to design optimized mobility solutions, the application of 5G connectivity in the connected car and the development of digital transformation projects within the car manufacturing process.

In 2018, one of the greatest indicators of SEAT's involvement in mobility was the creation of XMOBA Ventures, a company whose main objective is identifying, testing, marketing and investing in projects that contribute to promoting solutions to simplify urban mobility, thus creating a more efficient and sustainable future.

SEAT’s involvement in the field of sustainability became a reality in 2018 in the definition of its “2025 Strategy”, which is based on four fundamental pillars: transformation of the organisation, brand strengthening, globalisation and sustainable business.

2017: With 468,400 vehicle deliveries, 2017 is a stand-out year in the history of SEAT. The company has had five consecutive years of consistent growth and obtains its best sales result since 2001. The year is marked by the biggest product offensive in history, with the launch of the new Arona, the new generation Ibiza and the Leon face-lift.

In May, Android Auto’s Waze app is integrated in the model line-up equipped with Full Link, while in September SEAT presents Amazon Alexa in its cars at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. This commitment to car digitalisation is furthered by partnership agreements with Telefónica and Orange.

In April, the company inaugurates the Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre (CARS), a pioneering facility in advanced medical care for its employees. Another official inauguration takes place in November with the opening of Metropolis:Lab Barcelona, where SEAT continues moving forward in its commitment to offering future mobility solutions. In this sense, XPLORA is created, a project that aims to detect new technologies and services in Israel related to connected car and smart mobility.

With the inauguration of the new multibrand plant SOVAC Production S.P.A. in Algeria in July, SEAT is assembling cars outside Europe for the first time, which is another international milestone for the brand.

In a new show of its commitment to the city of Barcelona, in September the company announces the Casa SEAT project, which aims to be the city’s meeting point for new trends and talent.

2016: SEAT deliveries total 410,000 vehicles in 2016, the best figure since 2007. The Ateca is one of the undisputed centrepieces. The first SUV in the history of SEAT accelerates the brand’s increase in sales, with a total of 24,200 units sold since its launch in July of 2016.

SEAT reveals its vision for the future of mobility, with the connected car at the hub of the user experience. The company begins its digital transformation, for which it creates the EASY Mobility Team, a transversal team aimed t leading the brand’s digitisation. May of 2016 sees the launch of the first SEAT Livestore, a virtual space where the Ateca can be personalised, which is joined by the SEAT Store in London and campaigns such as the one carried out in France in partnership with, which enables online purchases of cars with delivery in 72 hours.

In June of 2016, management and unions sign a collective bargaining agreement, thereby establishing a stable framework of labour relations to boost competitiveness. And for the second year in a row, the brand receives the Top Employer recognition.

SEAT is committed to the city of Barcelona and its ecosystem of Start ups to make progress in R&D&I in the field of mobility. In 2016, in partnership with the VW Group, the UPC and the Barcelona town council, the company launches the CARNET innovation hub. In addition, the inauguration of the Metropolis Lab: Barcelona is announced, Volkswagen’s sixth IT Lab that will be run by SEAT and headquartered in Barcelona.

2015: 2015 is a key year for SEAT on its path to sustainable profitability. The company returns to economic profit and closes the year with earnings of €6 million after taxes and €8.332 billion in revenue, the highest figure in its history. In addition, by year end 350 new jobs are created and the Martorell factory posts its highest production volume since 2001, exceeding the barrier of 400,000 vehicles sold for the first time since 2007.

Coinciding with the celebration of the SEAT Technical Centre’s 40th anniversary, in September the company announces investment of more than €3 billion, the largest figure in the history of SEAT, aimed at the launch of four new models in 2016 and 2017.

Also in September, Luca de Meo is appointed as the new President of SEAT, replacing Jürgen Stackmann.

In September of 2015, the brand presents the sporty crossover Leon Cross Sport at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new CONNECT range and the new Ibiza CUPRA. In its commitment to furthering progress in the field of connectivity, the company debuts the SEAT ConnectApp and signs an agreement with Samsung to develop technological solutions that enable total connectivity in all of the brand’s model line-up.

2014. SEAT announced in March that a compact urban all-terrain vehicle would be added to the range, the company’s first ever SUV, to compete in a growing, demand-driven segment. While progress continued on developing the new model, the Leon family grew with the addition of new versions; for example, the family oriented X-PERIENCE, with its off-road styling, was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The strong market appeal of the compact model made it the brand’s best-seller for the first time and led to the creation of a third shift on the assembly line at Martorell and the recruitment of 800 further employees throughout the year. In April, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of the iconic Ibiza, and a few months later, its unit number 5 million rolled out of the factory. To continue strengthening the sales network, the Inside SEAT event was organised in June to introduce the brand’s strategy and future projects to 2,400 representatives of authorised dealers in over 50 countries. His Majesty King Felipe VI also visited the Martorell facilities in December, where he gained first-hand knowledge and insights into the company’s technological capabilities. When the year drew to a close, the company posted a 10% increase in sales volume and a 13.5% increase in production in Martorell, and set a new record in the course of its lifetime by reaching a turnover of 7,497 million euros.

2013. The year begins with the 20th anniversary of the official opening of the Martorell production plant. The facility continues to be one of the most modern in Europe thanks to annual investment by SEAT; in October the plant was awarded the prestigious Automotive Lean Production award for the quality and efficiency of its production system. To maintain the pace of its on-going improvement efforts, in November SEAT officially opened the SEAT al Sol initiative, the largest photovoltaic plant anywhere in the automotive world. The Apprentices School starts the year with a record number of applicants, confirming the interest of students in what it offers. Throughout 2013 the SEAT Leon receives the Car of the Year award in various countries, and extends its family. The dynamic three-door versions (Leon SC) is presented in Geneva, with the estate version (Leon ST) unveiled at Frankfurt. In May Jürgen Stackmann is appointed Chairman of SEAT’s Executive Committee. November saw the 60th anniversary of the first vehicle (the 1400) built by the company. The year ends with the highest invoicing figure in the history of the company – a record 6,472 million euros.

2012. The year begins with the signing of the new Collective Agreement, making SEAT a more flexible and competitive company; the first SEATs are also shipped to China. The Geneva Motor Show gives a foretaste of the new Toledo with the presentation of a concept car; the Ibiza Cupra and Mii 5-doors are also put on show. In April the annual results for 2011 are presented, showing an improvement thanks to an increase in exports; at the same time the first eight dealerships in China are opened, coinciding with the Beijing Motor Show. One month later, three cars are handed over to Barcelona City Hall, marking the beginning of this practice to institutional fleets with the aim of assessing performance. The first pictures of the re-vamped Toledo are published at the end of June. In August SEAT takes part in the Moscow Motor Show, underlining its commitment to the opening up of new markets. With the beginning of the academic year in September, it pioneers the implementation of dual vocational training. The Paris Motor Show provides the backdrop for the greatest product offensive in SEAT’s history, with the presentation of the long-awaited generation of the Leon, together with the new corporate identity. The first units of this model are built at Martorell in October, and the year ends with a show of solidarity from the workforce, with more than two tonnes of food being donated to the Red Cross.

2011. The IBX, prototype of the hybrid-power-driven urban SUV, is showcased in Geneva, together with the new four-wheel-drive Alhambra 4. In April SEAT participates for the first time in the Shanghai Motor Show, where it announces its arrival in China. Production of the Audi Q3 begins in June, creating 700 new jobs. One month later HRH Prince Felipe of Spain officially opens the Q3 production centre at the Martorell plant. The Frankfurt Motor Show, held in September, provides the backdrop for the first appearance of the IBL (a new sports saloon concept) and the re-vamped version of the Exeo. The new SEAT Mii, a city car enabling the company to get back into this market segment, is unveiled in October. The commitment to electromobility takes shape in the November presentation of the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, the first all-Spanish electric car. SEAT closes the year by laying the foundation for the new Collective Agreement, and is market leader in Spain for the second year in a row.

2010. SEAT heads the Cenit VERDE project for the development of technologies and components enabling hybrid and electric cars to become a reality in Spain. At the Geneva Motor Show the brand unveils the IBE Concept electric concept car, as well as the definitive version of the Ibiza ST. At the Madrid Motor Show, the arrival of the new Ibiza ECOMOTIVE (89g/km) confirms SEAT’s leadership in eco-friendly cars, with the other ECOMOTIVE vehicles standing out as the lowest-emission cars in their respective segments. At the biennial Paris Motor Show a re-vamped version of the IBE is shown, winning the Show’s best-prototype Auto Plus award given by RTL. The new Alhambra, the brand’s star MPV, hits the roads in September. Commitment to environmental protection comes once more in the shape of the start-up of the first stage of the SEAT al Sol initiative, the largest photovoltaic rooftop array in Spain, and one of the largest in Europe. SEAT closes 2010 by reclaiming leadership in the home market Spain after a 31-year gap.

2009. In January the Leon Twin Drive project, the first prototype of a hybrid car, is presented. The Geneva Motor Show in March showcases the presentation of the Exeo ST and the prototype of the Leon Ecomotive Concept. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the SEAT Ibiza, at the Barcelona Motor Show the brand puts on display the ‘25th Anniversary’ version of this model. The Ibiza Bocanegra, new Leon Cupra and Ibiza FR, together with the definitive version of the Exeo ST, are also shown at the same event. In June the foundation stone of the bodywork shop where the Audi Q3 is to be built is laid in an official ceremony. In September the Frankfurt Motor Show provides the backdrop for the IBZ concept car, a foretaste of the estate version of the Ibiza, and the Ecomotive versions of the Altea, Altea XL and Leon. Once more SEAT takes the WTCC world title in both the manufacturers and drivers categories, the latter with Gabriele Tarquini. The brand sponsors the UEFA Europa League.

2008. Commitment to sustainable mobility becomes a reality with the official opening of a new rail link enabling the transport of 80,000 cars a year from Martorell to the port of Barcelona. The Bocanegra prototype, providing a foretaste of the new Ibiza, is showcased at the Geneva Motor Show. The fourth generation of the same model is presented to the press at Martorell’s CPD (Prototype Development Centre) in April, and one month later to the public at the Madrid Motor Show. At the same professional automotive sector event the Ecomotive version of the Alhambra, the lowest-emissions (159g/km of CO2) is displayed. At the end of July at the London Motor Show, the new Ibiza SC (SportCoupe) is presented. In October at the Paris Motor Show, the Exeo saloon and two new versions of the new Ibiza are unveiled: the sportier and more radical Cupra, and the more eco-friendly Ibiza Ecomotive. During its fourth season of the WTCC SEAT achieves an historic triumph by winning both the manufacturers and drivers categories, the latter with the French driver Yvan Muller. SEAT’s TDI technology shows its superiority by being the first diesel engine to win a world championship.

2007. On January 12th the company officially opens SEAT Service, a building bringing together the brand’s after-sales activity under a single roof. In March the Altea Freetrack prototype is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, providing a good foretaste of the production version of the first all-roader in the history of SEAT, which is put on display at the Barcelona Motor Show. On July 16th the Prototype Development Centre (CPD) is officially opened, bringing together the development of prototypes in their virtual and physical stages. At the Frankfurt Motor Show the brand creates a surprising media stir with the SEAT Tribu concept car, a novel impression of a sporty SUV, and the Ibiza Ecomotive, one of most eco-friendly vehicles at 99 g/km of CO2 emissions.  On 30th December the official opening of the SEAT Design Centre (SDC) takes place, the only one of its kind in Spain. Other important highlights are the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the SEAT 600;  car number 6 million rolling off the assembly line at the Martorell production plant; and the commemoration on December 5th of the 50th anniversary of the SEAT Training Centre. In the world of motorsport, SEAT is runner-up for the second year in a row in the WTCC manufacturers category, and for the first time is also runner-up in the drivers category, with the French driver Yan Muller.

2006. In February the new Ibiza 2006 is presented, with its re-vamped look both inside and outside, highlighting its dynamically sporty features. Mid-way through the month, SEAT sells its Design Centre in Sitges to the local City Council for cultural purposes so as to centralise design activities at its Martorell facilities. In March the Geneva Motor Show provides the background for the Ibiza Vaillant, a show car reminiscent of the comic world of Michel Vaillant. At the end of May the Madrid Motor Show sees the presentation of the new Leon FR, to be marketed in June with a choice of two engines – a 200 hp 2-litre TFSI petrol engine or a 170 hp 2-litre diesel powertrain. On June 16th the same month SEAT’s new corporate building is officially opened at the Martorell facilities, during a ceremony presided over by Pasqual Maragall, President of the Catalan government (Generalitat). One day later, workers in the building are given the chance, together with their families and friends, to visit the facilities during a relaxed ‘fun day’.  In the world of motorsport, SEAT is runner-up in the WTCC in the category of manufacturers, and organizes the fifth edition of the SEAT Leon Supercopa, where the new Leon Supercopa makes its first appearance.

2005. At the Barcelona Motor Show in May, SEAT puts unveils the new Leon, both the standard Leon and Leon WTCC competition versions, the later for participation in the World Touring Car Championship. In June, the company launches the ‘Exclusive’ Toledo, a two-colour version reflecting the image of Prototype version presented at the Madrid Motor Show in 2004. In the world of motorsport, SEAT takes home its first WTCC trophy with a third place, after an historic win of the Leon WTCC just two months after its début in this world championship.  In September the brand showcases its Altea FR prototype at the Frankfurt Motor Show which, with its 170 hp 2-litre diesel engine, becomes the most powerful diesel engine in SEAT’s history. The same month sees the beginning of marketing of the new Leon on the main European markets. At the end of the year, the company undertakes a restructuring process of its workforce to be able to guarantee its competitiveness in the future.

2004. In March the SEAT Altea, symbol of the ‘new SEAT’, is presented at the Geneva Motor Show. On March 27th, for the first time the company celebrates an Open Day at the Martorell production facility, targeted at the workforce and family members, attracting more than 41,000 persons. On May 13th management and the majority trade unions UGT and CC.OO. sign SEAT’s 17th Collective Agreement, which includes significant advances in terms of flexibility and labour relations. In September, the company holds its 500th Board meeting. Coinciding with this event, an agreement is signed whereby SEAT cedes to the Barcelona Zona Franca Consortium a large part of the land it occupies in that part of the city. At the Paris Motor Show in September, where the Ibiza celebrates its 20th anniversary with 3.3 million units built, SEAT unveils the new Toledo, a ground-breaking car with a three-volume architecture. In December the company celebrates the laying of the foundation stone of a new corporate building to be raised at the Martorell facilities.

2003. At the Frankfurt motor show SEAT presents the Altea prototype, the first SEAT produced conceived within the Audi Brand Group, and which initiates a new generation of SEAT models, marking a major watershed in the history of the Spanish company. The Geneva Motor Show provides the backdrop for the presentation of the prototype of the Ibiza Cupra, while Barcelona does likewise for the Cupra GT, a vehicle created specially for motor racing, as well as showcasing the 225 hp Leon Cupra R, the most powerful and fastest production model in SEAT’s history. In the sphere of motor racing, SEAT makes an official comeback to international racing circuits by its presence at the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), with the Toledo GT carrying off victory in the Spanish Grand Touring Championship in its first year of participation.

2002. SEAT becomes a member of the Audi Brands Group, together with Audi itself and Lamborghini, as a result of the new Volkswagen Group organisation. Dr. Andreas Schleef is appointed new SEAT President. An agreement for labour competitiveness is implemented, favouring a younger average age workforce as well as higher qualifications. The new Cordoba, a more family-orientated car with a re-vamped image as already seen in the Ibiza, is presented at the September Paris Motor Show. SEAT achieves a notable victory in its comeback to circuit motor racing with the SEAT Leon Supercopa.

2001. Launch of the Leon Cupra R prototype, developed by SEAT Sport. After transfer from Brussels, the first unit of the Toledo rolls off the assembly line at the Martorell production facility. The SEAT Tango concept car is presented. At the Bologna Motor Show in December, SEAT puts the new Ibiza on display, a new generation of the brand’s most charismatic car. The euro is adopted as the company’s official internal currency.

2000. The Salsa has its début – a concept car initiating a ground-breaking style for the new image of the brand’s products. On the occasion of SEAT’s 59th anniversary, HRH King Juan Carlos of Spain holds an audience with the company management, and the Prince of Asturias visits the Martorell facilities. The Technical Centre is 25 years old.

1999. SEAT shows its brand-new corporate identity and shows the new Leon for the first time. This model marks SEAT’s return to the leading segment in European markets.

1998. Providing SEAT products with a new, modern image, the new Toledo is presented at the Paris Motor Show. The brand also puts on display the Cordoba WRC, which makes its first appearance in the top category of world rallies, and maintains its predominance in the 2-litre category by adding a third consecutive title with the Ibiza Kit Car.

1997. The Ibiza Kit Car is proclaimed FIA 2-litre World Rallies champion for the second year running. The small Arosa and the Cordoba Vario saloon are presented.

1996. SEAT wins the FIA 2-litre World Rallies Championship with the Ibiza Kit Car with its first appearance in this competition. The Alhambra MPV is unveiled.

1995. On September 26th HRH the Prince of Asturias drives SEAT car number 10 million (a Toledo) off the assembly line.

1993. On February 22nd HM King Juan Carlos I officially opens the Martorell production plant. Production of the new Ibiza begins, and the Cordoba model is presented.

1992. During the 25th Olympic Games the brand participates as a Partner and Sponsor of the Olympic Volunteers Programme.

1991. Presentation of the Toledo the first SEAT model developed within the Volkswagen Group.

1990. Volkswagen acquires further shares in SEAT, totalling a 99.99% equity stake. The name Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo is changed to SEAT, S.A.

1989. Construction work begins on the Martorell production plant.

1986. In June Volkswagen acquires 51% of SEAT shares, and by the end of the year increases its stake to 75%. SEAT begins to export to Europe: the Netherlands gets the first exports of the brand’s new models. SEAT Sport, SEAT’s motorsport branch, is created.

1984. On 27th April the first Ibiza model rolls off the assembly lines at Barcelona’s Zona Franca area.

1982. On September 40th industrial and commercial cooperation agreements are signed with Volkswagen.

1975. The Martorell Technical Centre starts up activities.

1974. SEAT car number 2 million is built, and the facilities at Landaben (Pamplona) are acquired.

1973. Construction begins on the SEAT Technical Centre at Martorell.

1968. SEAT production reaches 1 million units.

1965. First export of SEAT cars to Colombia.

1957. On June 27th production of the SEAT 600 begins, and with it the era of mass motoring in Spain.

1953. On June 5th the production facility in Barcelona’s Zona Franca is officially opened.

1950. On May 9th the Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo S.A. is officially founded.