Martorell, – How do all the parts of the car I’ve just bought fit together? wondered German-born Markus Buchholz. Like anyone passionate about the automotive world, he had surfed the internet many times in search of this information. Aware that it is one thing to see it in pictures, and a very different thing to see it with your own eyes, he decided to ask SEAT whether it would be possible to visit the Martorell production plant after having ordered a Leon ST. And that day came – this German client was able to get first-hand knowledge of how a car is built.
Accompanied by his wife, and guided by a SEAT team, Markus Buchholz goes into the Press shop, where the process of manufacturing a car begins. Here the parts that make up the bodywork are stamped out. The building is soundproofed, and here Markus gets his first surprise – “It is very quiet. I imagined it would be much noisier”.
In the Bodywork shop, the most highly automated part of the plant, another surprise awaits him – more than 2,000 robots spot-weld the bodywork. “This is impressive!” exclaims Markus, who uses the occasion to fire off a whole series of questions at the SEAT personnel. “When you go to a dealership all you see is a beautifully finished car, but seeing what is behind that car and how it has been built is really interesting”, he adds. “Here you see exactly how work is carried out, and how precise and meticulous people are at each of the steps and processes”.
The long queue of cars on the assembly lines with all the perfectly-coordinated operators assembling the parts of each car is something that Markus had not imagined either. And it is here that he begins to intuit that one of these cars is his. The surprise comes from Dr. Stefan Loth, head of the production plant, who accompanies the couple to a covered car – the Leon ST they have ordered from Germany. “My heart is racing”, admits Markus who, together with his wife do not waste a second in taking off the cover, getting in to the car and feeling the thrill of the first contact.
After going through the quality checks, their car, together with more than another 2,000 vehicles, leaves Martorell on the same day for one of the 76 countries where the company has a presence. “Can I get in for one last time?” asks Markus before the personnel load his car on to the train. “It’s only a material object, but seeing how it is born, and how it is built here means a very special link is created with the car”, he admits.
With his gaze fixed on the train, Markus is thinking of nothing but the fact that in a few days he will be able to drive his new Leon ST. “When I get behind the wheel for the first time I will be reminded of this very special day when I saw for myself how a car is built. It has been an unforgettable experience, and because of it for me this car will always be unique”. We all have dreams, and Markus’s has already become true.