It’s a milestone not only for the Spanish company, but for Spanish industry itself, on account of the factory’s ground-breaking technology and labour systems.
Prior to the inauguration of the Martorell factory, SEAT’s manufacturing capacity was concentrated in the Zona Franca, Barcelona, which opened its doors in 1950 and built its first vehicle, the 1400, in 1953.
On 22 February 1993, King Juan Carlos I unveiled the plaque commemorating the official opening of Martorell, in the presence of the then new Chairman of the Volkswagen Group, Dr. Ferdinand Piëch; Dr Piech is today Chairman of the Volkswagen Supervisory Council.
Martorell remains one of the most modern car production facilities in Europe, today manufacturing all three versions of the Ibiza, the new Leon, the Altea and Altea XL, the Exeo and Exeo ST, and the Audi Q3.
Over the past 20 years, almost eight million cars have come out of the facility from 32 product ranges, including the first-generation Toledo, the Inca van, and the Arosa city car. The company still uses part of the original Zona Franca factory infrastructure to create stamped bodywork parts.
The second-generation Ibiza and the Cordoba were the first models to roll off the Martorell production line, at the rate of 1,500 units a day by December 1993, resulting in a total of 140,275 cars for that year.
“Throughout its 20-year history, Martorell has become increasingly advanced. Thanks to continuous investment in technology and a highly qualified team, we have improved quality to perfection, both in products and processes,” says Dr. Andreas Tostmann, Vice-President for Production at SEAT.
Backbone of the economy
Over the past 20 years, SEAT cannot be fully understood without Martorell, nor can the Spanish automotive sector be understood without SEAT. In 1993 an entire suppliers’ estate was created, initially with 20 companies.
Today, SEAT’s multiplying effect on the economy carries great weight. It is Spain’s number one vehicle manufacturer, exports 85% of its production and provides direct employment for 11,500 workers at Martorell, and indirect activity for 46,000. Of all SEAT’s suppliers, 60% are Spanish.
Did you know…?
- The five most-produced models from Martorell are:
1. Ibiza Mk II: 1,515,946 units from 1992 to 2002
2. Ibiza Mk III: 1,172,504 units from 2001 to 2009
3. Ibiza Mk IV: 801,538 units from 2007 to present
4. Cordoba Mk I: 783,547 units from 1993 to 2002
5. Leon Mk II: 675,369 units from 2004 to 2012
(Accurate as of 31 December 2012)
- The Martorell production facility is a flexible industrial complex covering three million square metres – the equivalent of 400 football fields
- It was built in just 34 months at a cost of 244.5 billion pesetas – almost 1.5 billion euros in today’s money
- There are 2,883 production robots in the factory. To date, none have declared themselves sentient
- Designed from the very start for implementation of just-in-time production, it has now completed the logistical circle with two internal railway lines. One is for the reception of goods and the other to transport finished vehicles. Together they save 2,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of 57,000 truck trips a year.
- From initial manufacture at the presses to final shipment, each new vehicle travels 7.5 miles
- The Audi Q3, whose production began in 2011, is not the first non-SEAT that has been produced in Martorell – between 1995 and 2003 it built four versions of the VW Polo and Caddy