James Muir is the only foreign brand chief at VW. Source: Reuters
Hamburg. Whether the man, the consequences of his words are clear? "That’s Seats last chance," James Muir at the first meeting with journalists since taking office about his rescue mission said in September. Good mood of the Welsh is sitting in a suit, but an open shirt collar in a padded corner of the Hamburg Trend Hotels in East St. Paul, just before the final whistle of the UEFA Europa League between Fulham and Athlético Madrid, the Spaniard 2-1 for itself will decide. Seat sponsors, soccer will enhance the Medulin Bay brand.
The appearance of the 51-year-old is a sensation. The only foreigner among the leaders of the automobile VWGroup, moreover, the only external peak power – Muir comes from Mazda, was formerly at Ford -, Does not mince his words. The situation is dramatic: The Spanish brand fights for survival. Seat will burn this year money, with a loss of 339 million € in 2009.
VW set of difficult tasks on the British. Ex-England national coach Steve McClaren will lead to the quasi-Werk club VfL Wolfsburg back to the top of the Bundesliga, rehabilitate Muir Seat. In football, pass through the fine points: the thumb pressed Muir for Madrid not, Fulham. Finally, he was not Welsh and English, he said in excellent German. The language he has studied than the European marketing.
For Seat, the manager should repeat what he managed once to Mazda. In 2001 he moved to the Japanese after his car career in 1987 in the sales department of Ford had begun in Britain. In 2005 he rose to become head of Mazda Motor Europe, and with him came back the Japanese on the road to success.
Seat desperately need new, tensile forces models. But first, the new focus on old versions of group as sisters Audi on. Instead of developing its own model – that can not afford but the Spaniards – they finished the mid-size car Exeo based on the old Audi A4.
The first success was the small car on the platform of Ibiza VW Polo finds Muir. Nothing good can be the father of two sons and a daughter on the other hand, compact Leon, go to the predominantly "young men who still live with their mother." The sequel will change that. Within five years, Seat in the black. Otherwise? The plant will remain in Martorell, the brand but could be lost in case of failure, says Muir.
As hard as he tackles well, his mission remains delicate. As the manager wanted to sort out in the spring "under performer" among the 11 500-seat staff was not in the good in Wolfsburg. The mighty works whistled him back. Such "Rambo methods adapted" culture of consensus not to Volkswagen.