SEAT, S.A. (English pronunciation: [ˈsɛːat], "say-at"; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈseat]) is a Spanish automobile manufacturer founded in 1950 by the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), with initial Fiat assistance, and now a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group. Its headquarters are at Martorell near Barcelona, Spain, and is legally inscribed in the official Mercantile Register of Barcelona, book 23662, folio 1, sheet B-56-855.
SEAT is an acronym for Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, or in English Spanish Passenger Car Company.
Initially, SEAT manufactured rebadged Fiat models which differed very little visually from the products of the Italian parent. The SEAT Panda (later restyled as SEAT Marbella) for example was based on the Fiat Panda. The SEAT 600, based on Fiat 600, was the first car for many Spanish families, and became a symbol of the Spanish Miracle.
The first car under the new SEAT logo without Fiat involvement appeared in 1982, and was called the SEAT Ronda. This was a restyled Fiat Ritmo, and sparked a lawsuit from Fiat against SEAT, as the former claimed the car was still too similar to the Ritmo. The then president of SEAT, Juan Miguel Antoñanzas, showed a Ronda to the press with all the parts different from the Fiat Ritmo painted in bright yellow, to highlight the differences. This ended the dispute. Rumour at the time had it that Fiat was angry because the Ronda restyling was in fact too close to their own planned restyling for the Fiat Ritmo, which they had to scrap.