We caught up with Steve Clayton, owner of CVM Preston. Steve shared how he got into the automotive industry, his highlights and advice for how to get into the industry.
How did you get into the automotive industry?
I actually studied automotive repairs at college, which stemmed from my interest in cars from a young age. I did a four year course and then the rest of my experience came from an apprenticeship working on a variety of cars all the way from a 3-wheeler to a Rolls Royce! After leaving my apprenticeship, I got a job working for Mercedes, which was known as Sicily at the time and had a wonderful 16 years working there until I set up my own business at CMV with my business partner, Simon.
How did you meet your business partner, Simon?
We actually met at nursery when we were just 3 years old! We then went on to Primary school and High school together and sat near each other the whole time. When it came to starting up the business, I knew Simon would be the perfect person to partner with.
What is your specialism?
My specialism is Mercedes, I worked on them for so long, so I became an expert in them, but you do find that a lot of the technologies are very similar for a lot of cars. I can essentially work on most cars and me and my team share the cars and technology between us.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would say setting up my own business has been a great highlight for me. I have wanted to do it for a long time and after working for Mercedes, it was the right time for me to do it. Working for Mercedes was also a highlight for me, working with such prestigious vehicles was a real joy.
As you know, the world is changing and electric cars are now more popular than ever, how are you adjusting to the change?
For me personally, I would love to retire by the time that happens. I think for us to invest in the technology, it wouldn’t work. For the younger generation, it will be really important to learn about electric cars and how they work as this will be the future, so for them it’s ideal.
How do you think we can engage the younger generation when it comes to the automotive industry?
The one piece of advice that I always give to people is to try and get yourself working for a franchise, you will learn so much about the industry and about the cars. It really is a worthwhile experience. Get an apprenticeship, learn the technology and starting out like that is fantastic.
What advice do you have for those wanting to work in the automotive industry?
Be methodical and don’t give up on the job. Although the job may not pay well, getting that training and experience will be worth it in the long run!
You can find Steve’s business here: https://www.cvmpreston.co.uk/