Mark Dickens of Renault answers Barker's Dozen
21 October 2015
1 What was your first job?
My first job was cleaning cars for £1 per hour in the school holidays at a local Ford dealer. My motor trade career started as an apprentice car mechanic in 1982.
2 What was your first company car, and what do you drive now?
First car was a Ford Escort XR3, with large Cibie spot lamps! My current daily drive is a Megane Renaultsport, although I have a Kadjar crossover on order. I ride a Harley Davidson for fun at the weekends.
3 What did you listen to on your last car journey?
Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 morning show on the way in. Jack Johnson on the way out.
4 What do you wish you could do better?
Balance my work/family time. Living in Bristol but working in Hertfordshire requires a significant amount of self-discipline, and the M25/M4 can often dictate time-management disasters. TomTom's Live Traffic [service] in my Megane has saved my sanity many times.
5 What's your biggest achievement?
Apart from the obvious answer of my marriage to my wife Michelle, and all that followed, it is quite possibly making it this far! I survived a serious motorbike accident in 1984, and then a large racing crash when I was a motorsport engineer in 1992. So I am serious about 'making it this far'.
6 What are your three favourite films?
Not in any particular order: 1. Any James Bond; 2. Senna; 3. The Green Mile.
7 What's the stupidest thing you've done?
In recent memory (as I'm sure there must be others), leaving my wallet in my suit jacket whilst I went to get a coffee onboard the Eurostar, to come back and find my wallet had gone. Be warned - just because you are surrounded by suited and booted individuals on a train, it does not mean everyone is honest.
8 What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?
How to harness the user-chooser market, coupled with the significant recent growth in salary-sacrifice business.
9 What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?
How to get the most from your team, or, a close second, how to extract maximum power out of Becketts [corner at Silverstone] in a 1990s F1 car!
10 What's the worst thing about your job?
My usual 5:30am start from home on a Monday.
11 What one law would you make or change?
I would just reinforce some that exist already: prosecute 'middle-lane hoggers', people driving at 50mph on an open motorway, and those who persist in reading emails and texts whilst attempting to keep their car in the lane they're supposed to be in. I see all three every day on the motorway.
12 What did you want to be when you grew up?
Successful and credible.
13 Who is your ideal celebrity date?
Sir Frank Williams [team principal of the Williams F1 racing team].
Company Renault UK
Job title Head of fleet sales operations & remarketing
Home town Bristol
Family Married to Michelle, with two 'children' - Esther, aged 22, and Adam, aged 16
Sum up your company in 13 words or fewer Energetic, human, daring, with a flair for design.