Volkswagen Group's Spanish unit, Seat, has named Alfonso Sancha as its new purchasing chief, effective Sept. 1.
Sancha replaces Klaus Ziegler, who will become head of purchasing for connectivity, e-mobility and driver-assistance systems for the Volkswagen Group worldwide.
Sancha will focus on developing Seat's electric strategy in the purchasing division, Seat said in a statement. He will also consolidate the brand's position and expansion in North Africa, Latin America, and in China, where Seat is part of parent VW Group's joint venture with JAC.
Seat has been tasked with leading development of full-electric city cars costing less than 20,000 euros ($22,200) for VW Group. The small EVs, which will use a shortened version of the group's MEB architecture, will replace the battery variants of the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii. The first model in the family is expected about 2023.
Seat plans to launch six electrified cars by 2021, which will include two full-electric cars and four plug-in hybrids.
The brand has also been in charge of coordinating all VW Group general purchasing activities in the Iberian Peninsula since 2017 for all procurements that are not directly related to vehicles, with the aim of identifying synergies and contributing to cost optimization.
Seat said it expects Sancha to add momentum to its purchasing, which grew 5.6 percent to 7.13 billion euros ($7.9 billion) last year. In the past five years, the volume of purchases managed by the brand has increased 23 percent.
Sancha has held a number of international positions at VW Group, including posts in Germany, Mexico and China. From 2011 until 2014, he was head of purchasing at VW Group in China. Most recently, he headed up the purchasing of metal parts for VW.