You probably know Cupra from the Leons of the Set reinforced by Ibizas, but those times are over. It has not been labeled again behind the Seats trunks for four years now, but a completely different brand. Launching a brand new brand, even with the Volkswagen Group behind you, is extremely difficult. At least if you want to do it the same way as all other brands. That is why Cupra does things a little differently than all the other brands within the group.
Hummingbirds are stylishly at the cultural exhibition hall, but at Cupra City Garage. The first Dutch venue opened yesterday in Rotterdam, where the Baja Beach Club was located. The only old bad way is a dining bar in the corner. Don’t worry, they also have a cup of coffee. It’s time to talk to CEO Wayne Griffiths. He was one of the champions who, despite much opposition from the traditional Volkswagen, wanted to introduce a different brand.
We already have a seat, vw, Skoda and Audi. Why did Cupra have to come close to that?
‘All products within the Volkswagen Group are branded or cultural brands. We have no history. I think the Volkswagen Group needs a brand that can compete with other guests. There is a generation that wants to drive brand cars differently from their parents or grandparents. That’s why Tesla has been so successful, but also check out Nio, Polestar, Lynk & Co and Lucid. Volkswagen’s answer could be Cupra, as the only brand that is a real competitor. A new generation is looking for something new. ‘
Do that technique success?
“Our generation of buyers is young. The average age of Formentor buyers is around 40 years, which is quite impressive in that area. Some Volkswagen Group cars are bought by the older generation.”
So how do you appeal to the target audience, what is the strategy?
‘We write that [de brandstrategie] as we build a story. If we write now, it will be tedious. Because then it depends on our experience, past and something others have already done. We do not write a book until we have a story experience. We have a goal and direction. We wanted a timeless brand for the next generation of car lovers. The next generation of buyers see through the sale very quickly if it is stupid ni† You have to be real and genuine. Do not explain the perfect way, because if you do, it will be tiring. ‘
But what is the direction then?
Cupra should be more than a car, it should be a lifestyle. Style can play a role in this and design. Furniture, even. There are many things we can do with it, but we have to be careful or we will get lost in the T-shirt and jacket. ‘
‘We have a partnership. Barcelona is known for its unique light. We work with Marset for Chispa. We made a boat, D28 Formentor. We’ve done a lot of things with brand-matched people, with the same brand values. ‘
But do not people want to know how far a car travels if it is environmentally friendly?
“I think a lot of talk about electric vehicles is very sensible at the moment, so it’s about sustainability. We wanted to do something different, we wanted to stand out in this world, especially when we showed Cupra Urban Rebel last year. All the things we have too, because that’s what the next generation of client wants, but more than that we wanted to be fun and interesting. †
‘Why should you drive an electric car that is tiring or sensible? Cars can be great and you see how an electric car can be fun. Acceleration is good, it’s linear, weight is low so you have that go-kart feeling. It looks good, and on top of that it is permanent with everything else. That ‘s what we want to see.’
‘We have a simple suggestion. When other brands express themselves, they come with 25 lenses and are permanent, continuous with the same type of object. We have design, emotion and fun-to-car. That is where we come from and we will always do it. The rest is given. ‘
Cupra therefore relies heavily on brand and experience, and under such a variety of items. This is a reminder of Ferrari, which does not get much of its revenue from cars, but from printing logos on t-shirts and hats. Does Cupra also see the future as a broader brand than just cars?
“I think you can do it if you have a little brand balance. If you do it from day one, it’s like prostitution and a little art. You have to know what you manage. It’s a good brand and you can sell it. Yes, you can make a shirt and yes, I would wear that too. I wear white shirts with a logo on the back to show everyone I’m wearing White. ‘
‘But do we have to get money from the Cupra brand before the brand is launched? Probably not. We are already doing a lot of things. We make sneakers, jackets and we have bracelets. We have the idea of a necklace. So the things that help the brand, yes, but the things that make money still. We should make money by selling cars. ‘
Cupra targets a group of targeted youth and wants to do different things. Is Metaverse part of the strategy?
‘I do not want two different worlds. I do not want Cupra in Metaverse and Cupra in the real world. It’s exciting when you cross these boundaries. So when Metaverse and NFTs become real, when non-fishing signs become fungal signals. So if you can take something out of Metaverse and bring it back to reality or vice versa. ‘
‘Imagine you are running a race car on the road, but you are driving with glasses that reflect a different world. So you run physically, but in your mind you are in another world. You see something else. So you can drive in Hockenheim, but you are driving in the world of the future. ‘
Many brands are now joining NFTs. Can we also expect NFTs from Cupra?
“I do something if something adds value and not because something is small. So I don’t think it ‘s a moral thing to just have NFT and say it’ s worth a lot of money. I have something against it. So the NFTs I saw that are real works of art it’s a real work of art. And I would pay money for art? Yes, so I would pay for NFT. But I would pay for NFT because there are only a few of them? That doesn’t feel right. ‘
‘What feels good about the NFTs is the possibility of creating a digital twin car. That can add value for a variety of purposes. If complete vehicle history, such as mileage or maintenance history and your driving profile are also available in Metaverse, that may add value. We have ideas about that. We are taking the first steps. ‘
You can now visit Cupra City Garage located at Karel Doornmanstraat 12 in Rotterdam