Yes, once there were knobs. Knobs, buttons and things you would manually manipulate.
This is the “screen” of the SEAT 1400, a sedan introduced in 1953:
If nothing else, it is a reminder that somehow people were once able to get by without a 10-inch screen and 2,000 icons, which is the case in the current-generation SEAT Leon, the Spanish company’s best-selling vehicle:
There is something to be said for the simple charm of the 1953 approach.–gsv
Driving a car with some years on it can be very expensive. This subscription service provides a vehicle for the month for the price of a single fine
Barcelona is one of the wonderfully walkable cities in the world, which benefits, in part, from the implementation of a 95-square kilometer low-emission zone, which has some serious teeth: pre-2000 gasoline-powered vehicles entering the zone and diesels that were built before 2006 are charged from €100-150. The zone operates Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 8 pm.
Barcelona is also the HQ of VW’s SEAT. Which undoubtedly makes it challenging to be, well, a car company.
So SEAT created MÓ, a mobility business. It has launched a flexible subscription model for its eScooter 125. For € 70 a week or €150 a month, SEAT MÓ is offering not only the scooter, but roadside assistance and 24-hour customer service.
Not entirely surprising: the subscription project is based in the center of Barcelona, which is where the e125s are picked up and deposited.
The fact that SEAT celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2020 was probably not all that notable for people who (a) don’t live or work in Barcelona or (b) aren’t automotive historians.
That said, the company was able to show off some of the vehicles that the company has launched (it says 75 over this period), including the SEAT 600, which was introduced in 1957.
And it is clearly one of the cutest cars you’re ever going to see.
According to SEAT, when the SEAT 600 was introduced, it was “the start of motorization in Spain. Back then, a motorcycle sidecar was considered a family vehicle.”
Which probably explains why this diminutive city car was said to be sufficiently sizeable to take mom, dad, four kids and grandmother on a trip, including luggage.
While nowadays, thanks in large part to Elon Musk, when people are now putting down deposits of varying amounts to hold their place in line for the purchase of a vehicle, it turns out the SEAT 600 was ahead of the curve: before the car went into production there was a waiting list two years long.
Admittedly, production rates then weren’t exactly what they are now, because five years into production SEAT had produced 100,000. So that would be an average of 20,000 per year.
Not a huge number.
By the time of the final model, the 600 L, in 1973, the SEAT 600 went out of production. Total build over the years the SEAT 600 was produced: ~800,000 units.