Adrian Porter, 44
Senior global fleet consultant, Automotive Resources International
Family: Wife, Julia; daughter, Katherine, 1
Born: Oporto, Portugal
Languages: English, German
Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering and management, Coventry University, England
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
Some of my earliest memories are of working with my father on his Rover P100 and Volvo Amazon. Since then, cars and motorcycles have been my passion. I started as a design engineer at the Dunton Technical Centre for Ford straight out of university.
Biggest failure and what it taught you?
I began my career in the automotive industry as a design engineer. In this position, you usually need to fail (often many times) to develop the best solution. So I learned early on to accept each failure as an opportunity to both learn and to do things better next time.
What is your current challenge at work?
There are always many challenges, which is why I love this industry. Currently it is convincing U.S. and European-based corporations of how very different the fleet business is in Asia and India and that the solutions need to be matched to the country and the culture.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
For a global industry attracting so many passionate and talented people, there are still so many dated processes and mindsets that prevent many companies from effectively utilizing and developing these great people.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Be all you can be, but don't forget to be happy.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Be open, enthusiastic, and flexible. It is a very diverse industry, and you can move between disciplines relatively easily to find what you really want to do long-term.
If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Take the time to listen and get to know my senior management team and for them to get to know me. You cannot effectively lead people you do not know or trust – and equally, you cannot expect them to enthusiastically embrace your leadership if the opposite is also true.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
A role where I am always challenged and can have a measurable effect on the business growth.
What do you do to relax?
Hiking, skiing, watching movies, entertaining with friends, or riding my motorcycle along an empty country road.
It was a 1980 Audi 100 that leaked oil and needed regular rests on long journeys or it would overheat. I had spent all my money on an FZR1000 motorcycle a couple of months before.
BMW 5 series
2011-present: Senior global fleet consultant, ARI, Stuttgart, Germany
2009-2011: Manager international fleet sales - UK & Nordics, Daimler, Stuttgart
2002-2009: Senior manager international fleet and remarketing, Chrysler International GmbH, Stuttgart
2001-2002: Remarketing specialist, DaimlerChrysler South Africa, Pretoria
2000-2001: Manager European Business Development - UK, Nordics & Italy, DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, Stuttgart
1997-2000: Leasing Manager, Honda UK, Chiswick, UK
1994-1997: Fleet Business Manager – major accounts, Ford, Warley, Essex, UK
1990-1994: Design & test engineer, Ford, Dunton, Essex, UK