Alastair Hemmings, national fleet manager, Volkswagen Commercial
What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?
Expansion of the fleet department in terms of the creation of a fleet business centre and the appointment of additional area fleet managers.
In terms of customer achievements, supplying British Gas with circa 9,000 units since 2007.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The TV series The Trouble Shooter presented by Sir John Harvey Jones made a lasting impression on me and influenced me in pursuing a career in business.
What is your dream holiday?
A holiday that combines sun and relaxation, along with sightseeing/visiting museums – maybe Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
My 12-year-old daughter asking if she can go horse-riding at the weekend.
What is your favourite sitcom?
I know it’s old but I love watching reruns of Only Fools and Horses – ‘cos this time next year we’ll be millionaires! If you were asking me for something more modern then it would be The Big Bang Theory.
What is your favourite film?
Any old war movie like The Great Escape to the more modern such as Saving Private Ryan.
What is your favourite book?
My reading material tends to be historical and factual, predominately orientating around either the First or Second World Wars – my wife says I am boring.
What is your favourite restaurant meal?
I have varied tastes in food but nothing beats fillet steak, peppercorn sauce, chunky chips and onion rings.
When was the last time you took public transport?
Train to London – I enjoy a train journey as it reminds me of my daily commute to university.
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
A bottle of Monkeys Shoulder Whisky, ice and the iPad2.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Simple family holidays sailing on the west coast of Scotland.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister?
I would give more support and recognition to our serving Armed Forces and their families.
If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
A large yacht and have it moored off the West Coast of Scotland – Kyles of Bute or the Silver Sands of Morar.
What was your biggest mistake in business, and what did you learn?
Can’t think of any particular big mistake – I tend to be considered in decisions rather than being driven by impulse.
How would you describe your leadership style?
In terms of management language, words such as direct, assertive, accurate, logical, self starter, systematic, blunt and reserved have all been used to label me. I would hope that my team see me as being firm but fair and very results-orientated. Initially, people may think I growl but deep down I am approachable and sympathetic!
When did you last feel guilty about the environment and why?
When I put the rubbish out after Christmas – the amount of packaging that was created was unbelievable.
Who was your childhood hero?
Steve McQueen. He was cool and into his cars.
Which historical character do you most identify with?
William Wallace. What else would you expect from a proud Scotsman?
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Go and experience as much of life and the world as you possibly can before it’s too late.
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
A bar of Galaxy chocolate.
Which comics superhero would you like to be?
Iron Man because of his car collection and his wealth.
What was the pivotal moment in your life?
Becoming a dad.
What is your dream car?
- For the latest van reviews and news, click here.