Cupra in agency model move
09 May 2021
Cupra, Seat’s premium performance brand, is understood to be planning to shift from a franchise model for its UK network to an agency agreement this summer.
Sources within the Cupra network have described the move as “inevitable” but were concerned about the legality of the move as Cupra is still, in practice, a sub-brand to the Seat franchise and operates from Seat showrooms.
When quizzed by Auto Retail Agenda, a spokesman for Cupra refused to deny the move and said: “We are constantly exploring new opportunities to retail our vehicles”.
One retailer voiced concerns that Cupra’s move to an agency agreement would not properly address the fair distribution of investment costs because it was relying on Seat showrooms, facilities and staff.
Seat and Cupra owner Volkswagen Group already uses agency agreements for its fleet sales within several of its brands and, in some European countries, sells the VW ID electric cars under an agency model. However, while just over a year ago Volkswagen said it would do the same in the UK, it later backtracked.
Cupra would not be the first UK brand to use an agency model for retail sales rather than a franchise system, as Volvo’s premium brand Polestar operates in this way.
Many industry experts have predicted the widespread roll-out of new sales models that give the national sales company great control over pricing and customer contact – something they see as vital for online sales.
* See this week’s blog about Cupra, Polestar, Hyundai’s new premium brand Genesis and Citroen spin-off brand DS.