SEAT and CUPRA UK appoints John French to Head of Product Planning

  • John French takes Head of Product Planning role, effective 4 May 2021
  • Almost 20 years of experience working in Volkswagen Group, most recently as Head of Sales Operations for ŠKODA UK

Milton Keynes, 4 May 2021 – John French has been appointed to the role of Head of Product Planning for SEAT and CUPRA UK, effective 4 May 2021.

French has almost 20 years of experience working in the Volkswagen Group, having joined the business’s Graduate Programme and developed his career through multiple planning and operational roles, most recently as Head of Sales Operations for ŠKODA UK.

French joins at an exciting time for both brands. Hot on the heels of the recently-launched Formentor, CUPRA will introduce its first all-electric vehicle, the CUPRA Born, later this year. SEAT’s established range of hatchbacks and SUVs continue to drive the brand forward, with updated Ibiza and Arona models due in the summer. A small urban electric vehicle will also join the line-up in 2025, it was confirmed recently.

Richard Harrison, Managing Director at SEAT and CUPRA UK, commented: “I am delighted to welcome John to our leadership team at such an exciting time for both brands, with the SEAT model range fully refreshed by the summer and CUPRA flying, following the successful launch of Formentor. His breath of experience will be a real asset to the team as we continue growing our brands.

“At the same time I would like to thank Rob Fryer for his service and wish him well in his next endeavours.”

French replaces Rob Fryer, who has chosen to pursue his career outside of the VW Group, after seven years, working in various roles across the business.

Following the Group’s Graduate Training Programme, French started his career at Volkswagen Group as a Management Accountant for Audi in 2002, before moving to ŠKODA as Vehicle Planning Manager and later becoming Head of Planning for the brand. After this, he moved to Volkswagen UK, first as National Used Car Manager and then Regional Brand Manager, before being appointed Regional Sales and Marketing Strategy Manager for Volkswagen in Shanghai, China. In 2015, he returned to the UK in his role as ŠKODA Head of Sales Operations. French holds a degree from University of Brighton in International Business and German.


Notes to editor:

About SEAT
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), sells vehicles under the SEAT and CUPRA brands, while SEAT MÓ covers urban mobility products and solutions. SEAT exports more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in 75 countries.

SEAT employs over 15,000 professionals and has three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the SEAT Ibiza, the SEAT Arona, the CUPRA Formentor and the Leon family. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca in the Czech Republic, the SEAT Tarraco in Germany, the SEAT Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii electric, SEAT’s first 100% electric car, in Slovakia. These plants are joined by SEAT:CODE, the software development centre located in Barcelona.

SEAT will invest 5 billion euros through to 2025 in R&D projects for vehicle development, specifically to electrify the range, and in equipment and facilities. The company aims to make Martorell a zero-carbon footprint plant by 2050.

For more information, please contact: 

Juliet Carrington, Head of Press and Public Relations
07795 166422;

Sam Mercer, Product Affairs Manager
07557 597181;

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