Seat sees Griffiths well positioned to deal with the crisis. As a strong brand, especially in southern Europe, it is said to be affected by the market slump there. But the new models, from the Leon to the Cupra Formentor, would help to revitalize the business in the northern markets, which are currently picking up again.
The crisis management strategy also includes withdrawing from China, where they wanted to build a small electric car in a joint venture with VW partner JAC. Griffiths: “The market in China, especially for small cars, has plummeted and will not recover as quickly. It’s not a good time to start with a new brand there. ”
Things are going better in South America, where Cupra was a good start in Mexico. “We have big plans for all of South America, but the difficult political situation in some countries makes us a little more cautious,” Griffiths is still a bit hesitant. For the time being, the focus is on Mexico and Colombia and Chile.
As far as new sales channels are concerned, Cupra is currently working on an agency system with the involvement of dealers (they no longer buy the cars from the manufacturer and resell them, but mediate the purchase between the manufacturer and end customers) and are interested in the success of the soon to be opened Seat -Tapas bar in Vienna. Griffiths sees the bar, designed by Seat Austria boss Wolfgang Wurm with star chef Juan Amador in the Auhofcenter in Vienna, as an exciting innovation. “We wanted to do something like this in Norway, but the Austrians were faster,” he smiles.