Rob English has headed the fleet team at Honda since March. He has spent much of his career within the Volkswagen Group, including fleet roles at Audi and Škoda.
First fleet/automotive role:
I worked initially within finance for two major finance houses, Chartered Trust and Savings, and Lloyds Bowmaker. I then moved to manufacturer sales operations with Audi within the VW Group where I worked for 15 years, covering
operational retailer sales, technical training and fleet sales for Audi and Škoda latterly. Finance was a great grounding and moving to a manufacturer provides you with plenty of options. Fleet has proved to be a really interesting and satisfying area to move into.
Career goals at Honda: To deliver results, develop my team and see where it takes me. It is such a diverse and progressive organisation with so many interesting doors to walk through.
Biggest business achievement: Re-defining and establishing the VW Group Apprenticeship scheme. It was fantastic to gain parents’ buy-in and confidence while seeing young people develop with a real ambition to become leaders in the motor industry.
Biggest career influence: Adam Ford – my first branch manager at Chartered Trust and Savings.
He showed me great business acumen, passionate customer focus, sales planning and structure coupled with high standards and values. Sir Clive Woodward always impresses me with his understanding, approach and delivery through others.
Childhood ambition: I simply remembering wanting to do a lot of things and have a lot of fun.
Leadership style: I am not afraid to set challenging standards and goals that push you while empowering those who work with me to take ownership and make decisions.
If I wasn’t in fleet: I would love to have been a professional cyclist in a road race team.
My favourite film is The Dark Knight Rises. It is the first film my son Ben and I sat and watched together in complete stunned silence and both said ‘wow’ at the end.
Away from the office I try to spend quality time with the family doing whatever makes us happy and getting out for some hard hilly miles on my bike as much as I can.
My advice to my 18-year-old self would be to believe in yourself and always take time to reflect on what you did or didn’t do.
The three vehicles I would like in my garage are a Bugatti Veyron, Bentley GT and an Aston Martin DB5.
I simply hope that people will recall “Do you remember Rob? Do you remember when he...” followed by laughter!
My first memory associated with a car was desperately wanting a Batmobile to go to school in.
The pivotal moment in my life was being told I had problems with my knee cartilage and that I would have to pursue a less vigorous sports-related career. I was devastated and had to change everything.