• 3,000 deliveries
  • More than 3,600 orders
  • Formentor VZx single best-selling variant
  • One third of CUPRA orders are for Born BEV and PHEV version of Leon and Formentor
  • New Garage opened on Hobart, the 10th since launch – more to come
  • Targeting 7000 annual sales
  • One per cent finance and three years free servicing on MY23 Leon, Ateca, Formentor

The CUPRA tribe in Australia has just had its first birthday cake and eaten it too. Director Ben Wilks sends best wishes to all and looks forward to year two on sale:

"Why did we do this? Why did we imagine launching a still new European brand in Australia – the world's most crowded and unique market – was a good idea?

"CUPRA came to Australia to prove a point and to fill a need. In Europe and South America the young brand was already breaking records with a range of cars that felt right for those that loved driving and design, but didn't want the weight of history or the usual choices.  Our fans tend to be progressive, but they don't only go after the latest thing – they also value the quality of engineering depth that it takes to make a car feel great steering around a bend, rather than just cruising sedately (although CUPRAs can do that too). That's why CUPRA's move into the EV space is so important. Even as we electrify we still want to be fun to drive and great to look at with the battery range to back it.

"Coming to Australia is about proving CUPRA has the capacity to be truly global.  We are a far distant market with highly sophisticated taste, hugely competitive, with all brands and countries of origin represented and an insatiable appetite for performance related cars.  That made Australia the perfect next step for CUPRA.

"It made sense to also undertake a different business model in an attempt to improve customer experience.  That meant an orientation towards online purchase (bear in mind that almost all the preparation for the brand took place in COVID lockdown) and a desire to provide a sharper, transparent customer experience.  Having a clear offer for all customers makes sense. Having a finance offer with low interest rates and CUPRA Choice, a flexible product that provides customers a guaranteed future value also makes sense. Our first customers will have a mechanism to consider us again in the future as our line up rapidly expands with the all-electric Tavascan SUV and the Terramar.

"I was convinced about the CUPRA brand from the start.  

"My response to the Leon, Ateca and Formentor -  with which we started 12 months ago - was visceral. I wanted to buy one.  I could easily picture myself at the wheel of these cars and SUVs, that were meant specifically for people who like to drive, who were also progressive and wanted a more modern choice.  These are aspirational values – not in the traditional sense of prestige auto, because that's not what CUPRA is. Rather, it was the idea of a clean sheet brand that was filling a gap at a price point that wasn't entry level, but not luxury territory either. There's a distinct place in the market and our early orders were a great recognition that plenty of people felt the same way.

"Before our launch, the VW Group had yet to move on EV in Australia and that was a significant step for CUPRA, one we agreed was essential to establishing the brand.  It gave us a unique chance to bring customers to the VW Group overall by bringing a focus to the BEV and PHEV models that weren't yet scheduled for our sister brands, while keeping customers from leaving the Group.  At the same time, we could support the need for our enthusiast and performance customers to have a new and exciting way to enjoy one of the strongest driveline and platform combinations available

"I've never taken a particularly strategic view of my career.  Rather, I've looked out for opportunities that gave me new experiences.  I didn't come to these roles with a huge theoretical base, but rather the practical lived experience of working within the brands that make up the Volkswagen Group Australia or among our dealers.  I've worked across Audi, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and I'm enormously proud of the quality of the vehicles that our Group produces. 

"So why take this step into CUPRA? 

"You get very few chances to bring a new brand to market, a brand for which you feel passion and emotion. Even rarer is the chance to explore a new business model that aims to create a positive customer experience with a reliable and repeatable flexibility for us as an importer and our dealers, or "agents" as they are for us.  Starting things anew gives you an unbelievable chance to understand the business more deeply.  One of the most interesting moments I've experienced was at our opening event in Sydney more than 12 months ago.  In the room we collected the CEO of the brand, Wayne Griffiths who truly represents CUPRA, the engineers that delivered his promises in metal, the agents who would represent that product to our customers and our very first customers who said: "Yes, I do see a space for something different.  Make it great to drive and great to look at and I'm in. 

"It may be the only time in an automotive career – and I've been at this for more than 20 years - that it's possible to connect so many parts of that chain. 

"I'm constantly restless and there's so much that I know we can do better from a distribution point of view.  The portfolio of cars we have coming deserve the best possible operation, the best network because they will truly be the best of EV and PHEV.  I think it's unlikely that anyone importing something into Australia right now, with all of the logistics difficulties facing us, could be 100 per cent happy with how they are helping their customers.  But what we can do is continue to listen, refine and improve our offer.  We can keep offering transparently to the market, to say "here's a great deal, here's the security of included service".  If we stick to that, and we keep working methodically and with integrity, then we can grow something really special: a brand that has a tremendous future right around the world.

"I love that CUPRA stands for something. We've shown through our communications that we are prepared to take a view on issues and to relentlessly pursue our stance as a modern, progressive design oriented brand that cares about how things look, how they feel and how they work.  Design + Engineering + Spirit is very much the equation. 

"Wayne Griffiths' belief, and that of the team in Barcelona, runs right through the organisation from his office, throughout the factory and HQ, our local organisation and all of our team members in CUPRA Garages around the country. His   most powerful statement, is: "We aren't here to be liked by everyone.  We want to be loved by some."

"That's what opens the way for CUPRA to keep reinventing, innovating and blazing a trail.

"CUPRA Australia is a young team that thrives on what we are trying to do. I'd love to say we work smart not hard, but the reality is we have to combine both. That's because you get one chance to do this stuff and we are driven by a desire to make this great.  I'm inspired daily by their work and that of the teams in CUPRA Garages right around Australia."

For further information:

Paul Pottinger
General Manager Corporate Communications
Volkswagen Group Australia