Seat etymology: What does its name mean? What do its letters stand for?

Although it’s now owned by Volkswagen, Seat is Spain’s only native, large scale car maker. Ever wondered what the letters in its name means? Find out the details here.


SEAT is an acronym, with its letters standing for Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, which roughly translates as Spanish Touring Car Company.

After several stalled attempts, the company was founded in 1950 by the Franco government as the country’s national car company. Until the early 1980s, Seat had a very close relationship with Italy’s Fiat.

When that connection was severed, Seat began developing its own models, although still using modified Fiat platforms. Volkswagen bought a controlling shareholding in 1986, which it soon upped to full ownership.




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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]


Seat etymology: What does its name mean? What do its letters stand for?