Cupra Brand View – Increasing climate of rebel Catalans
– Rapid increase in rebel Catalans
For a big show that is otherwise known from American tech giants, Cupra presented three new models. Where does Kiti’s little girl get this confidence?
The theme is not real. The dim light display puts the elbow of the Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar bank in the light, illuminating the colorless geometric shapes in the crumbling concrete track, while moving rhythms from the speaker and elevating the atmosphere. It gets brighter, the music sounds louder – then an electric car drives past a bright wall and disappears into the darkness of night. The audience cheers with enthusiasm, clapping their hands. You watch a spectacle, you drink from your hand, from a huge terrace that is part of a three-story glass. Both were established specifically for this occasion.
Earlier, about 600 invited guests to the main auditorium watched the press conference, or rather: the big show – journalists from all over the world, lobbyists, camera teams, local politicians and race heroes. “Tonight we are showcasing a variety of heroes of the next generation,” he calls CEO Wayne Griffiths on a microphone in a leather leather jacket. “The future is electric and the future is Cupra!” The crowd applauds enthusiastically. Events that are known from major US technology companies such as Apple or Tesla, companies that have changed the world for their products. But this is about a small Catalan car brand that was launched four years ago and has since brought two independent brands to market. Where does Cupra get the confidence level that has evolved into hubris?
“Everyone who works here thinks, breathes and lives in Cupra,” German Chair board member Kai Vogler tries to explain in a calm conversation after the big show. It has not been easy to introduce a new brand in recent years, when one problem after another has engulfed the automotive industry. “This is currently a very complex business, even for established brands. Continuing in this environment with great conviction is exciting.” In fact, this time it has closely connected the Spanish brand staff. The management team is not talking about the workforce, but the Cupra tribe, i.e. the Cupra tribe.
Ambitious growth plans
Cupra has its roots in the race, the name is formed by the cup and the race. The company was founded in 1985 as Seat Sport and has been responsible for branding activities ever since. The name Cupra has been used as a sub-brand for the Sports Seat models since 1999 and was developed as its brand in 2018. Since then, Catalans have been trying to liberate themselves from the parent company. By Formentor, the first independent model was launched in 2020, which is based on VW technology but has its own design and name. With the only Electronic Birthday Symbol, the second model followed this year – the new VW.3.
Along with the festival in the historic race, Cupra has now presented three more models that will be launched in 2024 and 2025: SUV Terramar, the Tavascan crossover and the runabout of a small town called the Urban Rebel (see box). The latter two are electrically operated, Cupra only wants to sell electric cars from 2030. The Spaniards also have ambitious plans in other areas: new structures should enable high-priced entry and expansion outside Europe, starting with Australia. “We are confident that we can sell 500,000 cars a year with a new kind of type,” says Sales Director Vogler. To date, Cupra has delivered only 200,000 cars – in all four years combined. “With Israel and Mexico, we are already represented in markets outside of Europe, and there will no doubt be one or more opportunities to enter other markets in the next few years.”
The main market remains Europe
Wouldn’t the situation in a country like this be difficult if Cupra were just an electronic brand? “Since our main market is in Europe, we see great potential there. And in some countries we will help develop electricity potential. Vogler is not afraid to exclude existing customers with this strategy:” Finally, the topic of sports driving is important to me. Our goal is to provide what a typical gasoline consumer is used with in electric models as well.
So Cupra oozes confidence. Is the brand really a success story? “Certainly,” Kai Vogler is convinced. “Our sales figures are not close to reflecting the potential we still have in the market. We can sell more than we do now.” The demand is huge, and you handle exactly the customers you want. “These are the youngest customers, for an average of ten years less than those in the group. More than two-thirds of these are new customers that the group has never seen before.