5 minutes with Steve Botfield, Senior Editor, Commercial Vehicles & Motorcycles, cap hpi

13 May 2021 #Uncategorised

How did you start your career in the CV industry?
I started in 1974 as an HGV apprentice working for a haulage firm, on vehicles that in those days had names such as Badger, Beaver and Buffalo, not to mention Terrier – how naming criteria has changed over the years!

I then broke my teeth (literally) on Bedford trucks at the main agents in Birmingham, where I finished my apprenticeship. As with every budding mechanic there is always the aspiration of coming off the shop floor – this I was able to do in the mid-80s, moving to the FTA (now Logistics UK) and the luxury of my first company car.

The rest of my career has panned out in various roles, from heading a purchasing team at a Midlands based rental company, running a disposal operation for a leasing operation, working for a manufacturer finance division, managing corporate accounts for a multinational auction company, and of course latterly for the past five years working with a team of editors at cap hpi.

cap hpi leads the way with valuation methodology for EVs, and this has been a fantastic development and challenge, but the industry needs to embrace the requirement for battery degradation data to be made transparent and widely available for valuations. All of this equates to a lifetime working in the automotive industry, which I would not have changed for any other career.

What trend/development in commercial vehicles are you most excited about?
High on the list would be the introduction of alternative fuels into the CV sector. The demands are very different to that of the car world as commercial vehicles are tools, and all tradesmen need the right tools to do the job. Diesel vehicles have been in production for over 100 years, strangely the first electric vehicle was produced 40 years earlier but never took on – how things could have been different if only people like Greta Thunberg had been around in those days. Maybe I would have electricity running through my veins instead of diesel.

Best thing about working in the CV sector.
Quite simply, the people. The best advertisement for our industry is looking at the people who work in it, and in my years I have met an amazing number, some of which I still see today.

What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in their career?
Never look back, live for today and as Sir Tom said, “Tomorrow will be a better day”.

Favourite film
Any James Bond film, I love gadgets and these films are packed with them, not to mention the cars.

Favourite book
A difficult one this as I regularly read That’s Not My Lion to my granddaughter, but if I had to pick one, it would be How To Build A Car by Adrian Newey.

Dream holiday destination
Sailing around the British Virgin Islands and mooring up on a deserted beach, enjoying a long cold beer.

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