Paul Tobin is one of our Directors. He shares some insights into his background, how Driveline is different and the changes the vehicle leasing industry has undergone over time.
Tell us a bit about your background
I was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands and came to New Zealand in 1987. My first job was with Montgomery Honda selling Hondas up in Silverdale. Then I worked for Hammer Car Auctions as the sales manager and auctioneer. After that, I was part of the team that launched the Kia brand in New Zealand. In this role, my responsibilities were around fleet management and setting up the dealer network.
I did this for five years, before I was approached by Lance Manins about an opportunity to work at Driveline. We met up to discuss the role and in 2002, I started working at Driveline; and fourteen years later I’m still here.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I love working with clients and making them feel like we’ve helped them in a very big way. When they put their trust in me and walk away feeling like they’ve done the right thing, that kind of stuff puts a smile on your face at the end of the day.
How is Driveline different from other vehicle leasing companies?
We have a more consultative type approach. We actually act more as a consultant than a sales person. So we’re open to people asking questions and finding solutions based on their approach. We advise them rather than telling them what they should do from the best of our knowledge. And we consult with them to make sure they are content.
What are the challenging parts of the job?
There aren’t really any challenges which I face. When you’ve got a lot of experience in what you’re doing, you have come across these challenges before, so experience counts in a lot of ways. And all the staff at Driveline have a lot of experience because they’ve probably seen it all before.
Where has the industry changed the most?
It would have to be with the compliance side of things. When the financial crisis happened 2008, things changed dramatically. When we started, you could virtually write an agreement without getting an application form. Now with the compliance and the responsible lending, all of that has changed. So it’d be with the compliance and the approval process. It has made everyone a little bit cautious about what they say and how they present things.
What are some of your predictions about what will happen in the industry?
The vehicle industry is going to change quite a lot in the next five to ten years with the introduction of mass produces electric vehicles and driver-less vehicles. You don’t really know how soon that’s going to affect the market but it will affect it in some way.
I think vehicle leasing will carry on. Somebody will still be owning and renting out driverless vehicles or electric vehicles so there’s still a finance market there.