Brit Wayne Griffiths was the man tasked in 2019 with the launch of the Volkswagen Group’s new performance brand, Cupra. Last year, Griffiths added to his business card CEO of Seat, a marque whose sales and marketing operations he has overseen since 2016. At the recent Munich motor show, he told Autocar what the future holds for his Spanish brands.
How does Cupra now sit alongside Seat?
“We’re a company with two brands. I joined Seat and tried to make Seat cool and desirable – not just a cheaper VW. We made Seat the youngest brand in Europe with the highest conquest rate, a new Leon that cost €1 billion [to develop], three SUVs, PHEVs: Seat has never been as strong. We made the decision to elevate Cupra, and to do sporty differently and with clear differentiators with a sporty EV brand.”
What’s in Seat’s long-term future?
“Seat will exist in 50 years’ time. We’re making lots of plans with Seat as a mobility company. Seat is in a different part of the market, making attractive cars for younger people. If the market changes – as in car buying moving to sharing rather than owning – we need to offer different mobility solutions. Seat has e-scooters already, and there’s a lot for Seat to develop into for mobility, but with sharing and subscriptions for cars, not just scooters.”
How do you rate Cupra’s UK performance?
“In the UK, we still see it as a big challenge. We had a good start with Ateca but Formentor is our game-changer. Then there’s Born, Tavascan and Urban Rebel – cars to make a breakthrough in the UK. We’ll make it with sporty cars. In the UK, you have to deliver. You can’t just make it with marketing. Formentor is the big one for us. We still have industry disruption in the UK as well [with new electric car brands]. It’s a great opportunity for new brands to emerge, not just with new technology but for people looking for something new.”