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Eight questions to... Leon Caruso, Vertu Motors

Leon Caruso, Vertu Motors

What are the main responsibilities of your role?

Caruso: Reporting to our chief executive and serving on the main board, I have full operational responsibility for our multi-franchised division.

Leading the divisional team, I cover sites across the UK from Exeter to Paisley, representing Hyundai, Peugeot, Toyota and Volvo brands plus our thriving multi-franchise van centre in the south-west
of England.

Strategically, I work with the main operational board to ensure we have the right strategies and processes in place to continue to grow the business through an excellent customer experience delivered by engaged and motivated colleagues.


What are the most significant challenges ahead in your field of work?

Caruso: There are many challenges, whether that be Brexit, the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) disrupting vehicle supply, the onset of electrification or indeed disrupters driving changes to our traditional routes to market.


How might these challenges be overcome?

Caruso: Each of these challenges are real opportunities to grow our competitive advantage and in turn, further grow our business because we shouldn’t forget that these challenges are being faced by each and every business in the industry.

The direction in which the industry is moving is generally accepted, but how we get there and ultimately what it will look like is less well defined.

Agility will therefore be key and it will definitely be a case of trial and, in some cases, error – but if you are going to fail, fail fast and then try again.

Our people are by far our biggest asset and I am therefore confident that we are not only very well positioned to face these challenges, but to take a leading role in defining the shape of future motor retailing.


What attracted you to this area of expertise?

Caruso: I come from a family of car enthusiasts and I have had a passion for cars and motorbikes for as long as I can remember. My father was also in the industry for 40 years, starting as an apprentice mechanic, so the industry really has been part of my life since birth and there was no question of me working in any other industry.

Throughout the past 20 years, the diversity of the challenges, the pace of work and the continually evolving products/services have never left me bored and I look forward to what the industry has in store for the next 20 years.


What’s is the most important thing you’ve learnt in your career and how have you made best use of it?

Caruso: That there’s no such thing as a “no”, just a “no, not yet”. In essence, never ever give up – ever. 


How do you relax?

Caruso: I like visiting classic car shows and putting a few miles on my motorbike. I enjoy keeping fit and to wind down you’ll see me reading, listening to music or watching movies – like most people, time pressures will often see me attempting most of them at the same time.


What is your favourite app?

Caruso: Blinkist – transforms the key insights of 2500+ bestselling business, culture and self-help books so that you can read or listen to them in just 15 minutes. Perfect for when you’re on the go or just short of time.


What drives you?

Caruso: I’m driven by the inspiration of my late father who I can credit for my work ethic, values, and the confidence to take calculated risks and make mistakes.

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