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Seat 1990 - 1999

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A million Ibiza are built meanwhile, a total of eight million Seats. The Ibiza but still based on the pre VW technology. The Seat Motorsport receives their own activity area. The first purchasable model, based on a VW platform, is the Toledo in 1991. Meanwhile Seat is wholly owned by VW. Half a million vehicles are produced this year, meanwhile even the half for export.

1992 Seat supported the Olympic Games with venue Barcelona as an official sponsor. Seat makes losses despite the production successes. The company acquired still under Carl Hahn in 1987, suffers from too little control. With the first slumps in sales volume, the deficiencies will visible. One has obviously invested without restraint. As recently as 1990 Seat receives a loan of 1.5 billion DM of the European I nvestition bank.

With the takeover of the VW chairmanship of the board by Ferdinand Piech, that will change. He himself describes Seat as one of his greatest job-sites. The credit has long given way to a further minus of DM 300,000 by the new plant in Martorell with bad start of production and uncontrolled increase in the workforce. An unprecedented wave of layoffs must be agreed with the Spanish government and the unions in the middle of the crisis of 1993.

Unfortunately Seat loses the younger ones, because the Spanish employment protection protects the older members of the workforce. In addition the change of the Board and many executive managers. The factory Landaben (near Pamplona) and the Seat-finance company will directly subordinate to VW, severely restricted uncontrolled growth in the model and prototype development. Seat will have to deal with this crisis for the next 20 years.

The governments of Spain and Catalonia make a contribution of 38 billion pesetas, officially for research and development. Production locations are changing. The Toledo will now outsourced in the most modern factory Martorell. At its current production site will be redistributed the manufacturing areas, integrates some suppliers by and by. The Ibiza celebrates successes in the Spanish automotive press.

With the Alhambra comes a slight modification of the vans in 1995, which be built by VW as Sharan and Ford as Galaxy. However, production location will be Portugal. A new small transporter complements the model program downwardly. The Cordoba is now also exported to Brazil and a perhaps even more important message may be the Toledo with the freshly developed TDI engine. Nevertheless, of the formerly 24,000 employees are still left somewhat more than 12,000.

In Martorell have been built over a million car in late 1996. There are to celebrate with the Ibiza Kit Car three World Rally Championships in the two-liter class in succession. The Ibiza is now available as fast Cupra. From Cordoba there is after the two-door model also an estate car version. However, the new Arosa comes from Wolfsburg. To narrow its similarity to the VW Lupo. However, this will be changed the following year.

Martorell now enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the newest factories in the Group. The Arosa comes as the world's most economical production car with a 1.7-liter naturally aspirated diesel engine in the Guinness Book of World Records. Later, there will be a three liter prototype according to the Lupo. The Toledo occurs already in the second generation on the basis of the Golf 4. From Toledo 2 and Golf VR6 will then soon another Cupra model.

The workforce is grown with the sales success by almost 2,000 people. The since longer most important new release is the Seat Leon in 1999. It is also based on the Golf, but sets itself apart from the Toledo as a compact sedan. It is the lack of an attached luggage compartment, the here makes, although less suitable for families however a racy impression. It is reminiscent of the legendary Alfasud, without taking over its teething troubles. 09/13