SEAT in developing Spain, 1948-1972


  • Jordi Catalan Vidal Universitat de Barcelona



Industria del automóvil, SEAT, FIAT, INI, Políticas estratégicas, De


The experience of SEAT during 1948-72 constitutes a significant case of success in the adoption of strategic policies. The support to a ‘national champion’ located in a key industrial district, transformed Spain into an automobile net exporter. In addition, the long term cooperation with FIAT led to the reduction of royalties paid by SEAT and the creation of its R + D center. The alliance between FIAT and Banco Urquijo helped to balance public priorities with market rationality. Up to 1972 SEAT was one of the most profitable firms participated by the public holding INI and performed reasonably well in relation both to average Spanish industrial firms and European car producers. Nevertheless, in 1972 the Spanish government decided to reopen its market to Ford. This decision inaugurated a change of policies, which woud induce a tremendous crisis in the company of Barcelona. It would also erode the confidence of FIAT in the Spanish administration.