25 years of Seat in the UK
As you’ve probably read, Seat is celebrating its 25th UK anniversary this month after arriving on our shores in September 1985.
In that month, England regained the Ashes at the Oval and the first Super Mario Bros video game was released by Nintendo, but for all motoring fans, the introduction of the stylish Spanish outfit remains the most important event of the month.
To celebrate, Seat has released images from the previous 25 years in the UK; and we’ve chosen the best in our timeline of Seat in the UK:
1985 - Seat arrives in the UK with the launch of the first Seat right-hand drive models. Chief amongst the new cars was the Seat Ibiza MK 1 – the stylish supermini whose later generations are still hugely popular today.
1986 – After sales of just 24 cars in its first month, Seat soon found a place in the UK and sold nearly 6,000 cars in its first full year of trading. In 1986, 51 per cent of the brand was bought by Volkswagen, matching Spanish flair with German engineering for the first time.
1988 – Annual sales hit 10,000, with the help of models such as the Seat Malaga.
1990 – Volkswagen completed the takeover of Seat S.A. and the UK’s major importer. The Seat Ibiza was given a refresh.
1993 – A new, second generation Ibiza is released. It joins the Cordoba and Alhambra MPV in the Seat line-up.
1995 – Seat moves to Milton Keynes.
2000 – Seat sells 20,000 cars – the range now stands at nine models.
2007 – Seat breaks its sales record with 34,790 cars sold.
2010 – The range now consists of the Ibiza SC, Ibiza 5dr, Ibiza ST, Leon, Altea, Altea XL, Exeo, Exeo ST and Alhambra and Seat enjoys a market share of 1.6 per cent – a record high for the company.
Seat has also taken part in the World Rally Championships over the past 25 years, and the rally cars have spawned a number of high-performance production models such as the sporty Seat Leon Cupra R
Even javelin Olympic medalist Steve Backley drove a Seat: