Seat promotes sales chief Griffiths to president

Seat has picked Wayne Griffiths to lead the Volkswagen Group subsidiary, where he is currently head of sales and marketing. 

Griffiths’s promotion to Seat president, effective Oct. 1, fills a post left open after Luca de Meo stepped down earlier this year to become CEO at Renault Group.

Carsten Isensee, Seat’s executive vice president for finance and IT, had been acting president since de Meo’s departure.

Seat said in a news release on Wednesday that Griffiths would retain his roles as CEO and president of the Cupra high-performance subbrand as well as keep his sales and marketing position at Sewat for the time being.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, who is also chairman of Seat’s board of directors, said of Griffiths: “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’m convinced that he will continue this path of success at Seat.”

His main goals as president, Seat said, will be to drive a transformation toward electrification and sustainable mobility and develop the Cupra brand.

In July, Seat announced a five-year, 5 billion euro ($5.8 billion) investment plan. In the first phase, Seat and Cupra will launch five electric and plug-in hybrid cars by the end of 2021.

Griffiths, born near Manchester, England, is the son of a car dealer who worked in the family business before going on to study management and German at the University of Leeds. He joined Audi in 1989, moving to Seat in 1991. In 1993 he moved back to Audi, where he held various management positions in sales and marketing, becoming head of sales for Germany in 2013.

He rejoined Seat in 2016 as head of sales. Under Griffiths, Seat’s sales grew more than 40 percent between 2016 and 2019 to record highs. 

Griffiths was named an Automotive News Europe Eurostar in 2019.

Seat also announced the appointment of Herbert Steiner as vice president for production and logistics, effective Nov. 1. Steiner succeeds Christian Vollmer, who moved to the VW brand as the board member for production.

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