Meet The Team: Rupert Pontin

Published by One Auto API on

In the spirit of positive connections, we’re on a mission to introduce you to more of our expert team. So, next up in our Meet The Team series is Commercial Director Rupert Pontin.

Can you tell us about your background in the automotive (and/or other) industries?

I started in the automotive industry as a teen in the mid-80s selling cars from a patch of grass outside my parents house but it was not until 1989 that I had my first car sales role at an Austin Rover dealership in Guildford. I joined Glass’s in 1991 and worked as the Specialist Car Editor on vehicle pricing, residual value forecasting and product development until 2001 when I moved to work for British Car Auctions as an Account Director. Whilst there I was focused on remarketing, primarily for Audi UK but with additional responsibility for Ford, VW, Seat, Skoda, Jaguar and Land Rover – helping them to maximise wholesale values and minimising the time to sale.

I was a casualty of the financial crisis in late 2008 and started my own car sales business whilst consulting for a number of blue chip companies around remarketing and residual value setting. In 2012 I rejoined Glass’s where I took over the Valuation Teams before rising to Director of Valuations. As part of the senior team I helped lead what had become the Autovista Group to a revitalised UK and European vehicle data and insight business.

In 2017 I joined a start-up automotive market disruptor called Cazana as Director of Valuations and we used AI and data science to value vehicles rather than traditional subjective editorial methods. Ultimately as the VP of Insight and Analysis the team had rapidly grown the business to provide not only valuation and forecasting tools but a range of products and insight for the extended automotive sector in the UK. Cazana was sold to Cazoo in 2021 for £25m and I spent 9 months in the Cazoo team before joining One Auto API as Commercial Director in September 2022.

What do you consider to be your particular area of specialism?

Leadership and business development – turning ideas to profitable reality. My core automotive specialities lie in vehicle valuation and remarketing.

What made you want to work in the world of automotive data?

At the start of my career I just wanted to work with cars and this grew into understanding the vehicle lifecycle, from the point of manufacture to end of life. Along the journey I became acutely aware of the power of data and its direct impact on company profitability. Discovering new ways to utilise current and alternative sources of data is an exciting and rewarding environment.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Typically I am up at 6am and in my office by 7am. Before the 9am core working hours I catch up on emails and meeting follow ups before embarking on days filled with online customer meetings and proposal creation. This is interspersed with business strategy sessions, prospecting and keeping in touch with what is happening in the automotive market and talking with industry peers. Never a dull day!

What excites you most about your job?

At the moment the most exciting part of my job is empowering new and established customers to grow profit and operational efficiency using our platform and resources.

Where does One Auto API add the most value for its clients?

One Auto API adds most value for clients with the ability to offer a wide range of automotive data through a single robust and reliable API, coupled with straightforward cost effective pricing and flexible contracts. The fascinating thing about our API is watching businesses realise how easy it is to start with one source of data and then easily consume other types of data with the tick of a box.

What are you looking forward to achieving in the next 12 months?

The next 12 months will see the business evolve to serve a greater number of bluechip companies currently in the testing phase, whilst enhanced marketing will bring many new smaller startups and developers to join the platform.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity that the motor industry is facing – and how can One Auto API make a difference to that?

The biggest challenge for the automotive sector right now is the transition from ICE vehicles to EVs by 2030. Whilst we can’t directly drive that change, we can help our customers to understand the key elements of the many different journeys that are taking place to reach that goal. From driving consumer demand, understanding battery capability and empowering financial solutions to clarity on pricing and future values, we are here to support businesses achieve the 2030 goal.

And, finally, what technology innovation has had the biggest impact on your life?

Having been around a while there are three main innovations that have impacted my life. Firstly, the introduction of PCs – and specifically the laptop – enabling swifter and more effective working environments.

Secondly, the introduction of the mobile phone and data capability, which brought the ability for everyone to be available to communicate and work at any time and in any place.

Finally, the emergence of AI and data science which has hugely accelerated the ability to improve insight and working environments whilst enhancing quality of life.

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