Fleet CV: Derek Thornton, head of strategic accounts, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions
Describe your role.
I have responsibility for prospective clients operating 500 plus vehicle fleets and business development with our existing strategic clients.
What are you working on at the moment?
Much of my present work revolves around tender activity.
We are also conducting two major strategic reviews and writing proposals for contract extensions with existing clients.
How is the fleet industry changing at the moment?
A number of our competitors are exiting the industry as there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding falling residual values and access to long term competitive funding arrangements.
What has been your greatest challenge at work?
Some years ago we were implementing a major new contract at the same time as completing a tender to retain one of our largest clients. I have never worked harder over an intense four-week period.
And your greatest success?
Securing the contract to manage 10,000 vans for British Gas in 2005.
This was our first contract win with Centrica and we have further developed our partnership on the strength of our implementation and operation of this contract.
What item could you not live without?
My windsurfer. Nothing can beat a windy day wave riding off my local beach on the south coast.