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CV: Craig Cooper

Name: Craig Cooper
Company: XPart
Job: General manager
Age: 56

How did you get in to the automotive business?
I was recruited by Chloride Gaedor straight out of college in 1972. My first three months were spent in a basement in Bristol Stokes Croft charging Exide batteries.

What does your job entail?
I am the guardian of the MG Rover Parts business and my principal job is to keep 1.8m MG Rover drivers on the road. I also help create a network of XPart AutoService centres.

How will your job change over the next few years?
I expect to manage the change of focus for the XPart business by recruiting and sustaining a European network of XPart AutoService centres attracting drive-in service customers.

What advice would you give to people planning to join the industry?
Become an active supporter of the charity BEN because it is what you put into the industry that justifies what you take out.

What’s the worst career move you’ve ever made?
My only regret is staying in jobs too long and not moving more quickly out of my comfort zone.

And the best?
Leaving our dealership in Saudi Arabia in 1985 without a job to go to and taking six months out to travel the world.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Climbing a mountain.

Favourite book
Other Men’s Flowers (a poetry anthology by Lord Wavell).

Favourite holiday
Somewhere different every time.

Favourite film
Chariots of Fire

Favourite music
Meatloaf Bat out of Hell.

First car
A Honda.

Dream car
Sad people dream about cars.

Luxury item
My hot tub with a bottle of Cava.

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