Jorge Diez has been appointed Design Director at SEAT, filling the role previously vacated by Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, who left in July this year to join Renault. Diez will begin his new role on December 1, and report to the company’s Executive Vice-President for Research and Development, Dr. Werner Tietz.
Appointed to lead Mitsubishi Motors’ European design studio in July last year, Diez is making a return to the VW Group, where he held international assignments for almost 20 years. This is the third time Diez is coming back to SEAT. He previously led the carmaker’s exterior design department from 2011 to 2014, after initially joining SEAT as an exterior designer from the Audi studio in Ingolstadt in 2008. In between that he worked as a senior exterior designer at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg.
Over the course of his previous role as SEAT’s head of exterior design, Diez was responsible for overseeing the design development of the third-generation SEAT Leon, the fourth-generation Ibiza and the Ateca, the carmaker’s first SUV. While at Audi, he worked on the second-generation TT and the first-generation A7, amongst others. In 2014 he became Director of the Automotive Konzept Design studio in Munich, where he worked for the Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati brands.
Diez is coming back to SEAT at an exciting time in the company’s history. He will not only benefit from the groundwork laid out (and the impressive team built) by Mesonero-Romanos but will also lead the design direction of the nascent Cupra brand, which presents a lot of opportunities for VW Group’s Spanish offshoot. Cupra is positioned as a more premium electric car brand with a quintessential Spanish character. This will enable the brand to move upscale in crucial growth markets without the stigma associated with a budget brand, something the SEAT nameplate cannot do.
Diez, a Spanish national, earned a degree as a technical engineer in Industrial Design from the Cardenal Herrera University of Valencia. He also holds a Master’s degree in Car Design from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London.