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CUPRA Australia calls itself an ‘unconventional challenger brand’, and it continues to do things differently when it comes to sales and service operations across the country.

However, with a model onslaught coming, and the business on track to meet or exceed its previous sales record set in 2023, there are plans afoot to expand the brand’s presence more broadly in 2024 and beyond, with pop-up sales outlets, service centres, new dealership facilities – known as Garages, in Cupra speak – part of the mix.

Cupra Australia brand director, Ben Wilks, said the business knows it needs more touch points so that it can sell more cars and make maintenance easier than it currently is for its owners, particularly with a model rollout as aggressive as Cupra’s is. 

Ben Wilks

The brand currently sells the Born EV, Leon hatch, and Ateca and Formentor SUVs, but will soon expand that to include Terramar and Tavascan SUVs, and the Leon Sportstourer wagon. 

“It’s quite important actually that we still maintain that growth in presence of service and sales outlets, continuing to grow our teams within those businesses so that we can meet the customers that we need to meet when we grow our range beyond,” Mr Wilks said. 

“In Brisbane, a great new facility just opened in Fortitude Valley, also a service outlet in the Valley nearby. So again, partnered with the Eagers organisation there,” he said. 

“Cupra Hobart is now open and fully functional. We had a wonderful Cupra event down there only about a month ago with Kristy Stewart and the team from Jackson Motor Company. 

“So, great partners down in Hobart and really a great opportunity in the market for Cupra down there – especially for our EVs and our plug-in hybrids.

Mr Wilks said the brand’s experimental new temporary facility in the Zagame Automotive building in Tullamarine – housed in the iconic building that formerly housed the printing presses for The Age newspaper – will be in operation for months to come.

“We’re building a permanent facility. The guys have turned the dirt at Essendon Fields at that facility which is a showroom that’s coming in 2025, together with a service outlet,” he said. 

Cupra Hobart

“But in the meantime, we’re in the Zagame facility that you will become familiar with in Tullamarine. I think that will be quite interesting for our customers both to access really convenient service but also too, our customers tend to be car enthusiasts, and to see some of the interesting things that exist inside that facility is going to be a great opportunity for them.

Cupra has its strongest presence in Sydney, but will soon expand its sales and service offering beyond the city limits.

“In Macarthur in the southwest of Sydney – again, [we have] a pop-up sales facility beginning, whilst the team develop and build the final showroom there, (which will be) open for 2025, and we’re opening service at the end of this week, so that we can address all of our customers in the southwest of Sydney,” Mr Wilks said, before also confirming that a Central Coast service location is another focus.

“So, the story is continuing. And we’ve got more planned for this year in terms of more remote service outlets for customers when they’re touring, but also some additional facilities in Victoria and in New South Wales – so, more to announce there soon,” he said.

Cupra Brisbane

“Our job as a brand, and what we need to do for the rest of this year, is to maintain that growth in awareness, and to maintain or to set the agenda for that growth in terms of our model range so that we can have a level of facilities and convenience levels of customers when they when they come to meet us on all of these new cars. 

“We aim to have 15 sales outlets by the end of the year and more service outlets moreover, and that helps us of course to be able to meet the customers when we come to new products,” he said of the brand’s assertive model expansion over the coming 18 months.

“It’s a significant change to the Cupra line up, so we want to maintain that growth. We want to make that sustainable by the building blocks that we’ve got in place,” said Mr Wilks.

The company will be hoping things improve in the coming months after a slow start to 2024, with sales to the end of March down 28.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

By Mattt Campbell

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