The 52-year-old executive likes to sail competitively and enjoys testing his strength and endurance by climbing 3,000 meter peaks in the Pyrenees. LEpine joined Renault from college in 1982 as an engineer in the companys aftersales department. He worked in procurement and then logistics before becoming deputy aftersales director in 1987. A sales manager role in Turkey followed in 1992 and he became director for product planning and communications at Renaults Turkish plant in 1994. He joined Renault alliance partner Nissan in Europe in June 2006 as vice president of aftersales. He is based in Rolle, Switzerland, where his office is just five minutes drive from the picturesque Lake Geneva.
Nissans LEpine has wide taste in books, wine, music
Name: Laurent LEpine.
Title: Nissan Europe vice president of aftersales.
Languages: French, English, Spanish.
Family: Wife Claude; sons Benoist, 23, and Thibault,20.
Countries lived in: France, Switzerland, Turkey, Portugal.
Education: A masters degree in engineering from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts et Metiers (ENSAM) in Paris and an MBA from the Institut dAdministration des Entreprises, Paris.
Whats in your garage now:
An Infiniti EX and a Nissan Micra.
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
A sailor in the French navy.
Describe your perfect day.
Spending 24 hours with my entire family – a rare occasion for us because we are scattered all over the world. Our oldest son is studying in the US while our youngest is studying in Paris. My wife and I live in Switzerland, but I am often away on business trips throughout Europe.
Whats your greatest personal
achievement to date?
Whats your greatest professional achievement so far?
The launch of the Megane sedan at the Bursa plant in Turkey in 1998 when I was in charge of product planning. The model was the first modern car built in Turkey for the local market and for export.
How do you relax?
I enjoy sailing, trekking and reading.
What kind of things do you read?
I have a very eclectic taste in books. I like 19th century novels, specifically the complete works of Zola and 20th century authors such as Camus, Stephen Zweig, Orhan Pamuk, Hemingway, Saint Exupery and Joseph Kessel.
Do you collect anything?
Books from the 18th and 19th centuries and antiques from the different countries in which we lived. For example, we have tapestries I bought in Turkey many years ago and Portuguese tile work.
What is your favorite memory?
Arriving with my family in Istanbul in 1994. I can still remember our awe at seeing the Bosphorus for the first time and the throngs of people. I also remember our awe at the many exotic smells and the muezzins call to prayer from his minaret. We ended up spending six wonderful years there.
Whats your greatest extravagance?
I like to discover the wines from the countries where I lived. In Portugal, I was part of the Club des Amis du Vin. We tasted wines from Douro, Dao, and of course Porto wine.
How would you describe your character?
Good listener, empathic and
When are you not at your best?
After travelling when I have jet lag.
What is the most fun you have had in the last year that has nothing to do with the car business?
A trip in the Pyrenees mountains with two friends. We spent four days in the wilderness climbing two peaks that are more than 3,300 meters high.
What companies do you admire outside the car business?
Those with a strong technical background and an international vision such as Alsthom, Dassault, Lafarge and Air Liquide.
What kind of vacations do you like?
Active vacations. I enjoy sailing from Bordeaux to Brittany or Spain and also in the Mediterranean. I also like trekking and climbing mountains with good friends because it helps clear my head.
What CDs are in your car now?
My taste in music is also very eclectic. I like French language singers such as Georges Brassens, Charles Aznavour, Georges Moustaki and Jacques Brel, but also Leonard Cohen, Cesaria Evora, Diana Krall and classic rock groups like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
Whats your greatest regret?
Not having taken a one year break after my studies to backpack around the world.
Which word or phrase do you overuse?
Dare, believe and be positive.
= Olive Keogh