Name: Dameon Grove
Company: IVECO Retail
Position: General Manager
What was your first ever job?
I had a Saturday job working at David Mason Motorcycles in Kettering when I was 15. I was doing everything from serving on the front counter to building Honda C90s. It was here where I first got my passion for the motor vehicle industry; I’ve always enjoyed taking things apart and trying to fix them.
How did you get into the commercial vehicle business?
When I was at school, I spent two weeks’ work experience with E Wards which was a Ford dealership. Once I started my GCSEs, I began writing to garages, but E Wards never replied! I did a four-year apprenticeship with JR Billows before moving to Peter Brown Commercials and then Ray Smith Haulage. I was on the shop floor and as the business started to expand, I had three technicians working for me and was responsible for more than 250 pieces of equipment.
What does your job entail?
My main role is heading up IVECO Retail, the IVECO-owned dealer group in the South East. It includes running successful dealerships across our four sites in Croydon, Farnborough, Hayes and Reading, helping to enhance the customer experience, from initial purchase right through the lifetime of a vehicle, with all maintenance in between. It is also about developing the great people we already have across the dealer network.
How will your job/business change over the next 2 years?
It’s important that we continue to adapt to technological advances in the industry. IVECO is really pushing on natural gas and it’s our responsibility to make sure every customer gets the right support across the entire dealer network. Our Reading site is close to an established CNG refuelling facility which means local operators are ideally positioned to take full advantage of the IVECO Natural Power range. Everyone will have a vital role to play, from me as General Manager to the technicians in the workshop.
What other jobs have you done?
After Ray Smith Haulage I spent ten years at Scania dealer TruckEast, formally Derek Jones Commercials, where I was Service Manager before being promoted to Depot Manager and then Regional General Manager. Before joining IVECO Retail, I worked for Ryder as Locations Manager for its Oldbury depot and was responsible for the largest fleet and the largest team in the company’s UK branch network.
What advice would you give to young people joining the industry?
Ensure you maximise every opportunity throughout your career and don’t be afraid to try new things or ask questions. It’s amazing how you can use those experiences in different roles. If you put your mind to something and work hard, you can achieve anything you want.
How do you relax?
I’m a keen motorcyclist so enjoy track days. I own a Suzuki GSXR 1000 and like to get out when I can!
Favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere hot! I’ve got three children so anywhere with a warm climate is always a great way to relax with the family.
Any kind of action film, and I also like reading any of Guy Martin’s books.
I grew up in the 1980s so any music from that decade.
First car and cost?
It was Mk1 Ford Fiesta which cost me £500.
A Lamborghini Huracan, in green!