Seat celebrates 25 years in Britain. See the picture highlights
2 September 2010

Seat is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the company’s introduction to the UK.

In September 1985, a handful of dealers across the country introduced British motorists to the Mk I Seat Ibiza.

See the pics of Seat’s highlights over the last 25 years

By the end of 1986, its first full year of operation in the UK, 5922 new Seats had been sold.

That same year, Volkswagen grabbed a 51 per cent stake in Seat and the takeover was completed in 1990.

Seat recorded its peak in UK sales in 2007 when 34,790 cars found their way onto British driveways.

See the pics of SEAT’s highlights over the last 25 yearsSee all the latest Seat reviews, news and video

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2 September 2010

I love Seat. My ex girlfriends first car was a 1989 Ibiza. I think it was 900cc or similar capacity, slowest car I have ever driven. But it had loads of character and we both loved it. It was a sad day when it had to be scrapped after a head gasket failure that wasn't economical to fix as it would have cost more than the car was worth :(

I hope VW let Seat prosper and give the brand the sports car it so desperately needs, but somehow I doubt it will happen.

2 September 2010

They do seem to be picking up a little the FL Leon, Exeo and Ibiza have all done well and with VW's prices going up has made peiople look more closley at the other cheaper VAG brands. They have sold 20,000 cars so far this year 4000 up on last year. Ibiza being the most popular but the FL Leon has done well with it's much needed update.

"With its new cars sales flying high and market share running at an all-time record, SEAT is seeing its stock rise still further among ambitious dealers keen to grab a slice of the Spanish car maker's successful formula.

To the end of July SEAT had sold a fraction under 20,000 new cars in the UK, an increase of almost 4,000 - or around 24% - on the same period last year. Market share, year-to-date, is running at a record 1.6% while for the month of July that figure leapt still further to an impressive 1.9%.

Understandably, then, a SEAT franchise is increasingly being viewed as a hot property by dealers, and dealer groups, keen to share in the brand's UK success story.

The SEAT dealer network, including service-only outlets, currently stands at a record 129 with just a handful of open points around the country remaining.

And a flurry of recent dealer acquisition activity has seen some of the motor industry's 'big guns' begin or, in some cases, strengthen their relationships with SEAT. Most recently, for instance, top ten UK automotive retailer Vertu Motors plc acquired SEAT dealership GK Motors, in Derby, in a £480,000 deal.

Other big name dealer groups currently operating SEAT franchises include Lookers and Arnold Clark. Meanwhile a host of top quality regional dealers groups including Snows Group (South coast); Blade (West Country); and Marshall (East Midlands) hold a growing number of SEAT franchises.

Speaking at the time of the GK deal Vertu Motors Chief Executive Officer Robert Forrester said: 'We are delighted to expand further with SEAT, which we believe is very well positioned. The acquisition we announce today adds to our continued development.'

Other important SEAT dealer openings or acquisitions in recent months include Autoplanet (Tunbridge Wells); Pulman (Sunderland); White Quay (Newbury); Horton (Lincoln); Hughes SEAT (Farnham Common) and Alistair Fleming SEAT (Dundee).

SEAT UK National Franchise Manager, Jason Cranswick, said: ‘The obvious appeal of our brand is there for all to see.

'A cracking line-up of new cars - including the newly-launched Ibiza ST, thrilling Leon Cupra R and forthcoming new Alhambra people carrier - helps to create the most attractive model range we have ever offered.

'This is supported by a strong, and growing, marketing operation which further underlines our ambitious plans.' "

2 September 2010

Love the little red Ibiza, based on the Polo I guess. I'm waiting for an OEM to bring out as simple a car as this again; one wing-mirror, wind-up windows, lightweight, smooth ride, characterful engine.

2 September 2010

For me Seat peaked about 8 years ago with the last shape Ibiza and the mk1 Leon (especially the Cupra). Everything since then has been a bit medicore.

I don't see Seat survivng another 5 years as part of the VW group unless things change drastically.

2 September 2010

I remember test driving a "Porsche" tuned Ibiza back in 87 (I think it was). Not a bad little car. Gear shift was notchy and the indicator switches were a little quirky.....

.....shame they're just reskinned VW's these days....

2 September 2010

Id forgotten what a good looking car the mk1 Ibiza was... certainly as well-styled as the Uno & 205 which people praise.

The Ibiza of course now being about the size of a Focus & another victim of overfussy exaggerated modern styling.

2 September 2010

[quote Lee23404]For me Seat peaked about 8 years ago with the last shape Ibiza and the mk1 Leon (especially the Cupra). Everything since then has been a bit medicore.[/quote]Same. The picture with the early 00s Seats all together, in pale blue/silver, reminds me of the days of the Arosa, original Leon, Toledo etc etc. The last Toledo looked terrible, and the Altea just never seamed 'right' after teasing us with that rather nice concept version. The current Leon is looking a bit dated to me. The only car I would but out of their current lineup would probably be the Ibiza SC... the 5-door just looks overly fussy. The previous Ibiza was a very pretty car. I hope Seat survive, but Volksagen need to put some effort in - a little sports car and a new Arosa are desperately needed to be honest.

2 September 2010

Me and the missus have a Ibiza Cpra TDI and it's a good little motor, goes like stink and gives reasoanble economy though the interior is feeling quite dated even on a 57 plate.

I hope they continue though as they are getting better.

2 September 2010

[quote michael knight] Love the little red Ibiza, based on the Polo I guess.[/quote]

Surely this was Fiat based .Looked good though.

2 September 2010

yes, SEAT was founded by a joint venture between the Spanish Government and FIAT - surely an important part of their history!!

I'm sure there is a FIAT Uno lurking under than Ibiza body!


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