The construction of the Martorell plant begins in 1989.
In 1986, Volkswagen purchases 51% of the SEAT shares in June and, by the end of the year, increases this to 75%. One of Volkswagen‘s medium-term goals is to construct a modern factory alongside the Technical Centre in Martorell.
SEAT cars start achieving a certain recognition in European markets based on its Mediterranean design combined with German technology. We begin exporting to Europe in 1983: First sales are made in the Netherlands.
The SEAT Marbella is the result of a transformation of the SEAT Panda in accordance with a renovated image of the SEAT range: It becomes hugely popular, and maintains its appeal to the juvenile market segment.
SEAT's motorsport branch, SEAT Sport, is founded.
The SEAT Malaga is launched as the sedan-version of the Ronda in 1985. One of its key selling points is the outstanding boot capacity. It is considered family-friendly, and becomes the top of the SEAT range during the second half of the 1980s.
The first SEAT Ibiza model leaves the Zona Franca assembly lines on April 27th 1984: It is a collaboration between SEAT and the Italian designer Giugiaro, the German engineering company Karmann and the prestigious German sports-car manufacturer Porsche. The car is considered a revolution within the SEAT brand – and the most charismatic car in our history.
We launch the SEAT Ronda in 1983 – the first model equipped with a computer-controlled unit, designed to reduce fuel consumption and patented under the name "Econotronic". It is the first car to be officially exported – and we do so through our newly created international dealer network.
That year we also launch the SEAT Fura. Its sports version, the Fura Crono, is a great success, and becomes the basis of a single brand competition: the Copa Fura.
Industrial and commercial cooperation agreements are signed with Volkswagen on September 30th 1982.
SEAT launches the SEAT Panda in 1980, which rapidly becomes the most fashionable utilitarian vehicle in Spain: Its interior is simple and practical and features e.g. removable seat covers, making them easy to wash. Its range is diversified with specific variations and limited editions and appeals to the juvenile market segment.
SEAT begins to export to Europe: First sales are made in the Netherlands.