Seat celebrates 25 years in the UK


Seat marks a quarter of a century since sales began in the UK this month with some pictures celebrating its recent history.

It sold 24 cars in September 1985, but now boasts nearly 500,000 sales and established a 1.6% share of the market.

The Spanish company had recently split from Italian co-owner Fiat, and brought its first independently-produced car, the mk1 Ibiza to British shores. In 1986 it was bought up by Volkswagen, and sales surged to heady highs of 10,000 by 1988.

VW has tried to reposition Seat in recent years, establishing it as a sporting brand to try and rival Alfa Romeo. Sharing Volkswagen-group platforms, Seat has produced some unsung budget performance heroes to rival the likes of the Golf GTI.

Seat's competitive efforts have brought it varying success – a brief foray into the World Rally Championship didn't bear fruit, but a World Touring Car Championship entry has brought more success in recent years.

Unfortunately, this has also meant the likes of the Alhambra, based on the VW Sharan and now on sale for ten years - as you can see from our gallery it has long outlasted pop group Atomic Kitten who helped launch it. A new Alhambra is expected on sale later this year.

Have a look through the gallery above and see how Seats have changed over 25 years.