International concerns are actively using Spain as a platform for the production of their machines. Moreover, it is believed that the Italians laid the foundation for the car industry in this country in 1919, when FIAT opened a branch near Barcelona. Despite this, Spain has enough of its models of cars and trucks. Domestic companies such as Advanced Design Tramontana, Sociedad Española de Automobiles de Turismo, and others are widely represented globally and compete well with foreign brands.
What is Spanish Car Brands?
Many brands fall into this category, including SEAT, Irizar, Tauro Sport Auto, Spania GTA, Tramontana, Aspid, Benimar, Hurtan, Cupra. There are also disappeared car companies that used to make cars in Spain: Pegaso, Hispano-Suiza, Abadal, and others.
Active Car Brands
Spanish cars – Seat, Tramontana – are famous all over the world. In addition to these renowned companies, other equally recognizable brands are produced in Spain.
1 SEAT (1950-Present)
SEAT is a Spanish company that is part of the German automobile concern Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. Its name is an abbreviation for Sociedad Española de Automobiles de Turismo. The first car of this brand appeared in 1953, and the two-millionth one – in 1974. During this period, many racers in Spain moved to SEAT sports cars.
The first owner of the enterprise was Fiat, but he refused to cooperate and, by his inaction, forced the automaker to sign a contract with Volkswagen. The German group of companies bought out all SEAT shares in 1990.
2 Irizar (1889-Present)
The bus industry in the Spanish car industry is represented by Irizar, named after its creator José Francisco Irizar Catarain. He worked as a blacksmith but wanted to be engaged in passenger transportation and opened an enterprise to produce stagecoaches and carriages. This happened in 1889. After 37 years, the business passed to the sons of José. They began to manufacture buses and agricultural machinery.
Since the 1950s, the company has constantly produced new bus models. It got to the point where she entered into a partnership with Carrozzeria Orlandi to achieve technological excellence. Currently, the Irizar line includes conventional, electric, hybrid, and integrated buses of various models.
3 Tauro Sport Auto (2010-Present)
The sports car brand Tauro Sport Auto entered the market in 2012 with the V8 Spider. At the same time, he appeared two years earlier: its origins go back to 2010 when a group of Spanish entrepreneurs decided to merge with a British racing car manufacturer. All operating company machines are made to order; therefore, the volume of series is limited. Most of the work is done by hand.
Tauro Sport Auto is headquartered in Valladolid. The current head of the company is one of its co-founders, Pedro J Santos. The mainline of sports cars is called the Tauro V8. Chevrolet’s LS3 V8 engine powers cars of this model.
4 Spania GTA (1994-Present)
Spania GTA designs and manufactures sports cars. It was founded by a Spanish racing team member GTA Motor Competición, which now legally belongs. The head and direct founder of the company is Domingo Ochoa. The key product is the GTA Spano model cars. This series’s first concept car was presented to the general public in 2010, and full-scale production began in 2013. Spania GTA plans to produce just 99 vehicles as part of its debut line.
5 Tramontana (2007-Present)
The Tramontana brand belongs to the Spanish company Atelier Tramontana. The manufacturer is a private enterprise Advanced Design Tramontana, which was opened in 1995. It was founded by Josep Rubau, who previously worked for Volkswagen. He decided to revive the traditional car brands of the last century, so the Tramontana sports car has a design from the 1930s. The model is suitable for racing tracks and public roads, but it is often collectible due to the limited edition (12 units per year). Gold is used to decorate the car.
6 Aspid (2003-Present)
What is the most popular car brand in Spain?
As the statistics for 2021 show, the Spaniards prefer Seat Arona, Citroen C3, Seat Ibiza, Fiat 500, Peugeot 2008 cars, which are in the top five in terms of sales. But the leaders change all the time because Seat does not have an indisputable authority in Spain, especially after the German concern Volkswagen bought it.
The Aspid series is a proprietary product of IFR Automotive. The founder of the company is the engineer Ignacio Fernández. He opened it in 2003 to create cars that would combine the best qualities of racing and road transport. The first model, called the IFR Aspid, went on sale in 2009. IFR Automotive had another sports car, the GT-21 Invictus. His debut was expected in 2013, but the project was closed before it even started.
7 Benimar (1978-present)
Benimar is a renowned mobile home manufacturer that has existed since 1974. Its name consists of Beni – the first letters of Benicarló (the coastal town where the company was founded) and Mar – Spanish for the sea. In 1978, the brand’s debut motorhome appeared on the market – the selected segment’s undisputed leader. From 1984 to 2002, the company operated under the name Ocarsa until the Trigano Group bought it.
8 Hurtan (1991-Present)
Juan Hurtado González wanted to create his dream car: a retro sports car. He realized this idea in the 1980s and then opened his car production inspired by the success. This is how Hurtan Desarrollos SL was born, which in 1992 presented the first model, the Albaycín T2. The family business is now based in Granada. It produces sports cars and electric cars with a classic body. The son of the founder does not change tradition and continues to develop ultra-modern cars in the style of the 1950s.
9 Cupra (2018-Present)
The original name of this brand is SEAT Sport. It appeared in Abrera (Catalonia) in 1985 as the sports arm of the Spanish car manufacturer SEAT, which is part of the Volkswagen Group. The basic specialization of the company consisted in the production of competitive models for rallies and other types of races. She has won several FIA awards: three victories with the SEAT Ibiza Kit-Car in the World Rally Championship (three years in a row – from 1996 to 1998 inclusive), two awards from SEAT León in the FIA World Touring Car Championship ( in 2008 and 2009). In 2018, the parent company renamed the brand to Cupra and made it independent.
Defunct Car Brands
1 Hispano-Suiza (1904-1968)
The automobile company Hispano-Suiza was founded by two Spanish entrepreneurs and one Swiss engineer, which is the reason for the name’s choice (Hispano-Suiza means “Spanish-Swiss”). The company was founded in 1904 and, before the war, was engaged in the manufacture of luxury cars. It switched to the production of aircraft engines, and in 1919 it returned to the originally chosen course.
In 1944 Hispano-Suiza became part of the ENASA group and focused on the aerospace industry. She tried twice to return to cars: in 2010 and 2019. Both times new models were presented, but production only started on the second try. So the company can be considered revived in 2019.
2 Pegaso (1946-1994)
The Pegaso carmaker left the market in 1994 when Iveco acquired it. Before that, he was part of Enasa and was engaged in sports cars, armored vehicles, tractors, omnibuses, and trucks. The company was founded in 1946. Its main industrial site was the old Hispano-Suiza plant. In the second half of the 20th century, it kept pace with the economic boom, producing many buses and trucks. After the takeover of Pegaso, Iveco continued to use this brand for a couple of years.
3 Abadal (1912-1930)
Racing driver Francisco Abadal founded the Abadal company. He set up a company in 1912 to manufacture the fastest luxury car at the time. Shortly after opening, the company was bought out by Buick. In 1923 the Abadal brand left the market and stopped production. General Motors had plans for its revival: in 1930, even a prototype of the Abadal Continental appeared, but it was never released.
Is there a Mexican car brand?
There are not so many private car brands in Mexico, but they are: for example, DINA, Inferno Exotic Car, Zacua, Solana.
Is Seat made in Spain?
The Seat remains a Spanish car manufacturer even after transitioning to the German Volkswagen group. Its assembly workshops are located in factories in Barcelona and Martorell.