Seat’s board of directors has appointed Cupra brand chief executive and president Wayne Griffiths as the new overall president of the Catalonian Volkswagen Group brand.
Griffiths will assume his new role on October 1 after being officially announced as the successor to Luca de Meo – now Renault’s chief executive – by the board, which is chaired by Volkswagen Group chief executive, Herbert Diess, this week.
A statement issued by Seat to announce the move stated that Griffiths had “been instrumental in driving record sales at Seat as well as establishing the Cupra brand”.
Griffiths will continue in his leadership role with Cupra, while acting Seat president Carsten Isensee will continue as executive vice-president for finance and IT, the statement said.
Herbert Steiner, meanwhile, will assume a role as Seat’s new vice-president for production and logistics from November 1.
Commenting on Griffiths’ appointment, Diess said: “Wayne Griffiths is one of the Group’s most qualified managers.
“Over the past four years, he has driven Seat sales to record levels and is leading the development of the new Cupra brand.
“He has my full support and I am convinced that his time as president of Seat will be a success.”
Diess also expressed his gratitude to Carsten Isensee as intermediate President. He said: “Carsten took over leadership and responsibility in the most demanding months influenced by the effects of COVID-19 and guaranteed business continuity.”
The son of a car dealership owner, Griffiths began his career working in the family business before studying international management and German in Leeds.
His Volkswagen Group career started at Audi, in Ingolstadt, in 1989.
After working for Seat for two years (1991-1993), he returned to the German brand, where he held various positions in the new commercial division in different markets.
In 2016 he was appointed vice-president for sales and marketing at Seat.
In January 2019 he assumed the position of CEO of Cupra and at the beginning of this year he was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Cupra.
Griffiths’ main goal in his new role will be to drive the continued transformation of SEAT and its brands towards electrification and sustainable mobility and develop the Cupra brand.
In July 2020, the company announced a five billion euro investment plan between 2020 and 2025.
In the first phase, Seat and Cupra will launch five new electric and plug-in hybrid cars by 2021.