Hyundai’s Mr. Fitness: Allan Rushforth

Allan Rushforth, Hyundai Motor Europe vice president

Allan Rushforth
Allan Rushforth is one fit man. He swims, cycles, runs, surfs and rock climbs.

In 2007 he represented Britain at the world triathlon championships in his age category.

Born in England, Rushforth joined a small shipping company after university and was posted to Dubai. He came home in the early 1980s to join Rover cars as area fleet sales manager.

Following BMWís acquisition of Land Rover he joined a newly established subsidiary in Seoul as executive director responsible for the launch and operation of Land Rover in Korea. He subsequently returned to the UK to take up the position of sales director at Land Rover.

In 1999 he joined Audi as UK operations director and spent six years with the company before becoming director of group services for the Volkswagen group in the UK.

He joined Hyundai in September 2007 and is based in Frankfurt, where he is responsible for Hyundaiís activities in mainland Europe.Name: Allan Rushforth.

Title: Hyundai Motor Europe vice president.

Age: 48.

Languages: English, German, a little Spanish, French and Korean.

Nationality: British.

Family: Sons James, 13, and Alexander, 10.

Countries lived in: UK, Germany, United Arab Emirates, South Korea.

Education: Bachelorís degree in business studies from Newcastle University, in Newcastle, England.

First Car: A Morris 1000 Traveller with the license plate number D138 PBE, affectionately known as Phoebe.

What car is in your garage now?

The new Hyundai i10, which I chose because I live in the city center.

How would you describe your management style?

Itís people based. I try to be motivational, empowering, strong on relationships, trust and results. Also important is an ability to operate across cultures. One of my key tasks is reconciling Eastern and Western business processes but three years in Korea with BMW prepared me for this.

How has your management style changed over the years?

Iíve learned from my mistakes and take a more balanced approach to work. Iíve also learned to play the long game.

How do you relax?

I run, cycle and swim. I have been an active triathlete since the late 1980s. I have also climbed and surfed since I was 16 and still enjoy the outdoors.

If you could work in another industry what would it be?

Iíd love to own a vineyard or a microbrewery, however Iíd probably drink the profits!

What are your strongest personality traits?

Iím very determined with great bounce-back ability. Iím more self-aware than I used to be and otherwise an honest, straightforward guy.

What talent would you really like to have?

A little more patience wouldnít be a bad thing.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I guess my greatest extravagance is the space and freedom I allow myself to stay in shape.

What are you good at?

Youíd need to ask my sons if Iím successful at it, but I try to be a good father. I try to give them the love and support they need while theyíre growing up even though Iím in Germany and theyíre in school in the UK.

What is your most treasured possession?

I value friends and experiences.

What kind of music do you listen to?

It changes all the time. At the moment Iím listening to Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys, Oh No Ono, The Fray and Amy Winehouse. Iím an Ella Fitzgerald fan too.

What sort of holidays do you like?

It varies. My sons are learning to surf during the school holidays so Iím involved in that and weíre enrolled in a rock climbing course later this year. I had always planned to travel to the East while young, turning West to the US when I got older. Iím still headed East and will be on holiday in the Middle East in April.

What would you consider your greatest achievement?

It has yet to come.

What do you like to read?

I love the Life & Arts section of the Financial Times on Saturdays and subscribe to The Economist, which gives me news and information in the way I like it. I have just finished ďTheftĒ by Australian author Peter Carey, which was a wonderful read.

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