As Renault's sales and marketing executive vice president, Francois Hinfray's decisions determine the commercial systems and methods that Renault uses worldwide.
He is responsible for the French carmaker's distribution and sales results in Europe and simultaneously supervises the company's light commercial vehicles division, which produces compact and small vans such as the Kangoo. Hinfray has held key management positions at the company since he was named director of European affairs in 1989. Fit, lean and appearing much younger than his age, Hinfray is an active sportsman and a good skier.
Hinfray admits he is a bit old fashioned, but his self-professed lack of the ability to change with the times does not stop him from listening to contemporary jazz music or reading current novels.
Name: Francois Hinfray.
Title: Renault executive vice president, sales and marketing.
Languages: French, German, English.
Family: Married with three children.
Countries lived in: France, Germany.
Education: A degree in mathematics and economics from Ecole Nationale d'Administration (French national school of public administration).
Previous jobs: Joined Renault in 1989 as director of European affairs; 1990, assistant to Chairman Raymond Levy; 1991, director, Rouen office; 1992, regional director, Dijon; 1993, managing director, Renault Germany; 1997, senior vice president, domestic sales and marketing; 1998 executive vice president sales and marketing.
A second-hand Alfa Sud.
What is in your garage now?
Renault Espace and Kangoo.
If you could work in another industry, which one and why?
I don't think the nature of the industry is decisive for me. What motivates me are the potential and the challenges offered by a company, and the relationship I could develop within its culture.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading and playing sports and I am a keen skier.
How do you relax?
Simply by sleeping and regularly participating in sports.
What kind of books do you read?
Contemporary literature as well as the classics.
When you come home after work what is the first thing you do?
Go see my children.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I think it is undefinable.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your greatest extravagance?
I am not extravagant enough.
What is the most memorable holiday you ever had?
The week's vacation spent last winter with my family in Moscow.
Which talent do you wish you had?
To be able to change with time.
Do you have heroes, real-life or fictional?
I have no heroes. I have a strong admiration for many qualities within many people.
If you could meet any figure from history who would it be?
Thomas More (renowned 15th century English statesman, author of Utopia and Catholic martyr).
What are you good at?
Sketching and drawing.
What are your strongest personality traits?
Tenacity and patience.
When are you not at your best?
When I cannot be myself and behave sincerely.
What are your most treasured possessions?
It is a secret I cannot reveal.
What CDs are in your car right now?
Keith Jarrett (jazz and classical pianist).
Where would you really like to live?
I would rather travel than be located in just one place.
Do you have any regrets?
I never look back.