HAVING previously spent 16 and a half years with Audi UK as an Area Manager before taking a short break from the motor trade, Paul O'Brien took the opportunity to return to the front line with Spirit Hyundai. Now heading up the group's fleet department, we look at what attracted him to the brand, what makes Hyundai such an attractive fleet option, and his passion for two wheels as well as four.
How are you enjoying life at Spirit Hyundai?
I'm really enjoying it so far. I think Hyundai, as a brand, has got a really positive future ahead of it, you only need to look at the model range to see that. There really is a product for every customer, it is continuously striving to reduce its impact on the environment, and now there is a big focus growing the fleet side of the business, which is good news for me.
What attracted you to the brand?
I just love cars. I worked for Petronas and Total UK after leaving Audi at the end of 2015, and it was during that time I realised how much I loved working in the car side of the automotive industry. So, when I was looking to get back in, I spent some time researching, I made some enquiries, and it became apparent very quickly how progressive Hyundai currently is; it's really leading the way in terms of innovation.
What does your role as Group Fleet Manager involve?
Generally, my role involves getting out in the community, visiting various businesses, and seeing if we can advise them on their fleet of vehicles. It's absolutely not about just trying to sell to them, we want to build relationships and a loyal customer base, and the only way of doing that is by being open, honest, and helping the customer make an informed choice whenever possible.
What are the advantages of using Hyundai as a fleet vehicle?
I've already spoken to one customer that is going to switch their fleet to the IONIQ, and one of the key advantages for them of doing that is the savings in terms of taxation for the drivers and the business. I think it's such a good fleet car, it's the only car on the market that offers separate hybrid, full electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains within one model, and that means it's hugely versatile and well-suited to a range of businesses.
Does your enthusiasm for all-things automotive extend outside the workplace?
Yes, it does, I'm a big Formula One fan and always have been, but my major passion is endurance racing, particularly Le Mans, which I've been to several times. I'm also hugely into cycling, especially mountain biking, I go most weekends with my friends. I only really got in to it when I signed up to do London to Brighton while with Audi in 2003, found I absolutely loved it, and it went from there.
Contact Paul O'Brien at Spirit Hyundai on 01604 417850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org