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Hyundai's Jeff Peyton-Bruhl answers Barker's Dozen

Date: 21 September 2009

BusinessCar's Paul Barker puts 13 testing questions to another victim

1. What was your first job?

Technician apprentice shipwright in HM Dockyard Portsmouth, then technology officer at MoD Ship Department in Bath until I realised that growing flowers on the window sill wasn't for me. I also thought you would have to speak Japanese or Korean to be in ship building - how right I was!

2. What was your first company car?

1981 Vauxhall Astra 1200 saloon - the first model with a Chevette pushrod engine and a boot lid instead of a hatchback. I thrashed it.

3. What did you listen to on your last car journey?

Radio 4 Today Programme.

4. What one thing do you wish you could do better?

Speak foreign languages, and if pushed, play the piano, which I gave up at the age of 18 - which was stupid, really.

5. What's your biggest achievement?

Keeping the same wife (Ruth) for 28 years and raising two wonderful boys. The rest is just about making a living.

6. Who is your role model?

My dad - the nicest bloke I've ever known - and Neil Diamond, whose job I want.

7. What's the stupidest thing you've done?

Chop the end of a finger off with the disc valve in my Kawasaki 100 motorbike when I was 17. I had the carb off and my finger in the hole when I pressed the kickstarter down. Also, took up smoking (which I've now kicked) and never exercised after the age of 35.

8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?

Whether we could ever get our dealers to actively sell contract hire.

9. What's in your garage?

A Kawasaki Zephyr 1100 with 980 miles on it since new in 1998, four pushbikes, two of which never get used (mine and Ruth's), and lots of old tools from when I did my own mechanics.

10. What's the worst thing about your job?

Driving up and down the M40 every day. I also get a bit frustrated that we are still largely a retail-focused firm, and keeping fleet and business sales on the agenda is a constant task.

11. What one law would you make or change?

Remove inheritance tax. I hate it.

12. What keeps you awake at night?

Indigestion normally. I actually sleep pretty well, as I have a clean conscience (there are wags who would say it is clean because it has never been used).

13. Who is your ideal celebrity date?

At the risk of being accused of "batting for the other side", I would like a dinner and singing session with Neil Diamond. No, I lied, it would be Elle Macpherson.