My motoring inspiration: Eurig Druce
Citroën UK’s Managing Director explains why he’s fascinated by the rise of EVs – and why there’s nothing like being in the right place at the right time
What was your first job in the industry?
In my teenage years, I was interested in cars and all the latest models, but I was absolutely fascinated with electronics and physics. I ended up studying electronic engineering at university.
One summer, I took a job at a local Fiat dealership, delivering parts and collecting customers’ cars. My intention was just to make a bit of money for the following term, but I soon found that I wanted to understand everything about how dealerships and the motor trade operate.
Why did you stick with the automotive industry?
After completing a master’s in electronic engineering, I worked for a while manufacturing computer motherboards. What I once thought would be a fulfilling career was no longer that interesting. My heart was set on a move into automotive.
The industry has such a fascinating mix of people, skills and exciting products. I was hooked! Now, thanks to the development of electric and hybrid vehicles, I get to indulge both of my lifelong interests at the same time.
How did you decide which career path to take?
I secured a place on the Peugeot graduate scheme, which was a fantastic starting point. I worked in aftersales and spent some time as a Customer Adviser. To this day, I think the Customer Adviser role is one of the toughest jobs in the industry, but I learned so much doing it.
As part of the training programme, we were asked to describe where we would like to be by the time we hit 40. I’ve always been ambitious, so my answer was to be in a senior, decision-making role.
How did you make that happen?
My work ethic has really underpinned my progress and continues to do so, but luck has been important too. I’ve found myself in the right place at the right time, but crucially I’ve always fought to take full advantage of every opportunity.
How has your career developed?
I’m now in my 20th year in the industry, having worked across sales and aftersales for the Peugeot, DS Automobiles and Citroën brands within Groupe PSA. For the majority of that time, I’ve been on the retail side of the business.
I became Sales Director for Citroën in September 2016, before taking the Managing Director role in February this year, just before COVID-19 hit. Did I mention luck?
What are your goals for the future?
My short-term focus is on driving business performance here at Citroën UK. We’re just completing the final elements of our three-year business plan, which is really exciting. EVs are about to go mainstream, and our mantra is “Electric for all”. That means all uses – in towns and cities, short-haul and long-distance – all types of ownership (whether business or private), all budgets and all ages. For example, the new Citroën Ami can be driven from the age of 14 in France. Beyond that? Who knows!
I’m still relatively young and I have lots more I’d like to achieve. I would also like to give something back to society. I have had my fair share of good fortune, so I want to find ways of giving the less fortunate a leg up.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the automotive industry?
It’s a great choice! Go for it. It’s an industry that will give you some fantastic experiences and opportunities. To succeed, you’ll need to work smart and hard, and take your chances. Learn from your mistakes and keep driving forwards.