#62 – Wayne Griffiths, Rebel with a cause - CEO of SEAT and CUPRA

Histoires d'Entreprises

19-12-2023 • 42 mins

Aujourd’hui, je suis reçu à Barcelone par Wayne Griffiths, PDG de Seat et de Cupra. Episode en anglais cette fois !

It’s an honor to be here warmly welcomed by a team currently building the future of the car industry from where it was born in Spain .

Today, we will talk together about Cupra. Cupra sold just over one hundred fifty thousand vehicles worldwide in 2022 and showed growth of more than 50% in the first half of 2023. That speaks for itself.

If we spend time today on Cupra and less on SEAT, it is because the brand is still very new. It was born in 2018, going against the trend of the industry which has been rationalizing its brands for decades. Do you remember Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, Rover, Lancia, Talbot among others? All these brands have ceased production.

With Cupra, the automobile industry is reborn and takes a new turn. New lines, new emotions, new relationships with drivers, new motorization towards electric. Everything is new.

You had to be a little crazy to embrace such a project. Wayne defines himself more as a rebel with a cause. I start the interview with a David Bowie song. This gives you an idea of the character of the man I meet.

But how did Wayne get the idea to take on such a bet? How did he convince everyone around him? How did he know how to surround himself to meet the gigantic challenges of a project whose investment exceeds 10 billion Euros? But above all, how did he go about it? For those who know a little about the automotive industry, they imagine (probably not enough) the industrial, technological, financial, commercial, human Everest, which he and his team had to climb to be able to look at themselves in the mirror today and say: “it’s a success”

Wayne runs Cupra today. It is natural that he embodies the brand more than his colleagues. But as I write these lines, I think of all those who believed in it with him, of those who turned an idea into a project and then into cars of a new kind that embrace the challenges of our time. They can be proud.

Discover with me how a new automotive company is born, grows and is now tackling many markets. All this in 5 years. It’s crazy, I tell you.

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A podcast co-produced with Agnès Guillard