Just like the name indicates, Santana Motors is a Spanish car manufacturer, based in Linares, which can be found in the Jaen province in Spain. Apart from sharing its name with a very famous guitarist, the company is also known for producing off road vehicles for a while now.
The company started out under the name of “Metalurgica de Santa Ana” in 1956 and back then it had less to do with the car manufacturing process and more to do with the agricultural machine fabricating process. That means that instead of cars, they were building tractors and other machines used in the agricultural field.
Just two years later, in 1958, the company made an agreement with the Spanish subsidiary of Citroen after which Santana motors began producing gear boxes for Citroen Hispania. But the first big landmark in the Santana history was the 1961 agreement with “The Land Rover Company Company” which granted the Spanish company the license to produce off-road vehicles.
From then on and until 1983 Santana stuck to the Land Rover models but in 1985 they switched to a Suzuki, again, following an agreement with the Japanese corporation that granted them permission to produce and sell Suzuki vehicles. Again, they focused their attention on off-road vehicles, such as the Suzuki Jimny.
With over 20 years of off-road experience behind it, the company launched its own model of off-road vehicle, the 2003 Santana Anibal (PS-10), which was still heavily reminiscent of the Land Rover Defender 110. Then again in 2005, a new model arrived, the Santana 300/350 (the 300 version was a 3-door car and the 350 a 5-door), one which seemed to take a much more aerodynamic look and which followed the general lines of a Suzuki Vitara.
Apart from the aforementioned models, Santana still continues production of the Suzuki Jimny under license. In 2006, Santana and Iveco signed a deal that gave birth to a new generation of the PS-10, the Iveco Massif. The agreement is a log term one and the two companies promised to develop more products together.