SEAT has a special reason to celebrate – the Martorell factory, the driving force behind the company, is turning 25 tomorrow. The factory was inaugurated in 1993, after only 34 months of construction work and an investment of 244.5 billion Spanish pesetas (1.47 billion euros). Since then, SEAT has turned out nearly 10 million vehicles of a total of 39 different models and versions in these facilities.
In 1993 SEAT shifted production from its old Zona Franca factory in Barcelona, where the brand had been building cars since 1953, to the new Martorell facilities located just 30 kilometres away. With a total surface area of 2.8 million square metres, today around 2,300 cars are manufactured here every day, which is about 95% of the plant’s capacity utilisation. With more than 455,000 vehicles made in 2017, production in Martorell has grown by more than 50% since 2009, making it the factory that produces the most cars in Spain (Europe’s second largest vehicle manufacturer and the eighth biggest in the world), and one of the highest volume facilities in Europe.
SEAT President Luca de Meo pointed out that “Martorell is synonymous with progress and growth. The factory is our production flagship, so we are very happy to celebrate these 25 years since its inauguration”. Luca de Meo also wanted to underline the significance of “celebrating 25 years when the factory is in one of its best moments thanks to the new models we have launched (Ibiza and Arona), our investment in R&D, the quality of our vehicles and above all, the employees, who do their jobs with commitment and enthusiasm”.
Martorell kicked off in 1993 with the second generation Ibiza and the Cordoba, which were the first cars to come off the assembly lines, at a rate of 1,500 units daily. In these 25 years nearly every brand model has been made here, from the Toledo to the new Arona, and the Inca van, the Arosa, Altea and successive generations of the Ibiza and Leon in between.
Martorell also produces for other Volkswagen Group brands. From 1995 to 2003 it made the Polo and Caddy models, and in 2011 it began producing the Audi Q3, the first premium car manufactured in Spain, which will give way to the new generation Audi A1 in the second half of this year.
Industry 4.0 benchmark
SEAT Martorell is fully involved in developing Industry 4.0 in order to promote production that is smart, digitised and connected. In this sense, the company is already using some of the tools and technologies in its production processes that will be widely used in a few years, such as virtual reality, collaborative robots, 3D printing and augmented reality, among others. At the same time, SEAT is boosting education so that employee training remains continuous. In 2017, the company implemented a training programme on the fourth industrial revolution, which aims to enable workers develop their full potential and transform at the same pace as the industry.
Among other unique projects, SEAT Martorell is carrying out work on the tallest automated logistics centre in Spain, a 43.7 metre high building which will have the capacity to manage 119,000 boxes of components. These new facilities, which will be put into operation in the last quarter of 2018, will enable the company to take a giant qualitative leap in the factory’s service capacity, increasing its efficiency in the vehicle production process thanks to fully automated solutions.
Over the past 25 years, the Martorell factory has become a genuine catalyst for Spain and a driver of growth for generating employment and industrial development. The facilities provide jobs for more than 12,000 direct employees on the production lines, the company’s central offices and the SEAT Technical Centre, among other areas. In addition, it is among the highest in terms of female employment in the automotive industry, with 21% of the workforce made up of women, which is nearly twice as much as the 11% national average.
Strong commitment to sustainability
SEAT has sharply increased its projects in the area of sustainability in recent years. With this move, Martorell has been implementing the Ecomotive Factory Plan since 2011, which aims to optimise the brand’s resources and limit the environmental impact of production in order to have a factory that is efficient, sustainable and eco-friendly. With an initial forecast of achieving a 25% reduction in the main indicators in the production process, the plan fulfilled its goals ahead of schedule and is now on track to reaching the 50% threshold by 2025.
Did you know that…
… the surface area of the Martorell factory is equivalent to 400 football fields?
… a new car rolls out of the factory every 30 seconds, which amounts to about 2,300 new vehicles every day?
… the most widely built vehicles over the past 25 years are the Ibiza, the Leon and the Cordoba?
… there are more than 2,000 robots in Martorell that assemble car structures, and this figure is around 10% of all the industrial robots in Spain?
… the factory has the largest solar plant in the automotive industry? The project is called SEAT al Sol and it leads to an annual reduction of 7,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
… the initiatives carried out in energy efficiency at Martorell have prevented the consumption of more than 100,000 MWh, which is the equivalent of the annual consumption of over 10,200 Spanish households?
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2017, SEAT achieved worldwide sales of nearly 470,000 vehicles.
The SEAT Group employs close to 14,700 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.