Automotive industry data and vehicle information provider, CAP HPI, is planning to create over 100 extra jobs in Leeds over the next few months.
The group has chosen the city as the base for its global expansion, following a merger of CAP and HPI around three months ago.
There’s a good pool of rich data, digital-led people available.Ian Rendle, managing director of CAP HPI
As a result HPI’s operations in Salisbury are being wound down and instead 100 jobs ranging from editorial and data analysts to customer service and digital developers will be created. CAP HPI will grow from 160 staff to 260 staff in Leeds.
A key factor in CAP choosing Leeds as the base for what is effectively the head office for the combined company was the availability of talent in the city and surrounding region.
Ian Rendle, managing director at CAP HPI, told The Yorkshire Post that the reason for choosing Leeds was “fundamentally the talent pool that is readily available in the area”.
He said that Leeds has a great digital talent pool to choose from and the university also provides great access to the next generation of talent.
“The university is an attractive pool. The talent that is coming out of that will be great for us along with the already qualified people,” said Mr Rendle.
The managing director of CAP HPI added that the city has been transformed over the past decade and businesses are attracted to Leeds.
Mr Rendle said “businesses of a similar ilk” were coming into the city. He cited Sky Bet’s recent expansion into Leeds, Equifax and Callcredit’s base in the city.
He said: “You’ve got a lot of businesses coming into this area for fundamentally the same reason. There’s a good pool of rich data, digital-led people available.”
“We’re creating Leeds as the data hub of the business. It’s the head office now for both Cap and HPI,” added Mr Rendle. The recruitment process has already begun at CAP HPI.
Mr Rendle said: “We’ve already recruited up to 25 before Christmas. We’ve been building everything, buying more office space here in Bond Court.
“As an indication we were on one floor three years ago we are now fully occupied on three floors. The business has undergone a series of expansions as we’ve grown our revenue and become more profitable.
“In total we have got 128 roles outstanding right now, most of those will be based in Leeds and I suspect by June of next year we’ll have filled those positions. I would say there’s a nine-month window of really scaling up.”
A lot of the jobs will have an international flavour said Mr Rendle as the firm targets global expansion. HPI has a base in Harrogate which has two operations as a data and development centre. The development function of that office will move to Leeds.
“There’s ten jobs moving from Harrogate to Leeds as well,” confirmed Mr Rendle, who joined CAP in 2006 as a sales and marketing director and has been a managing director for the last five years.
CAP HPI has a combined turnover over £70m. CAP Automotive was acquired by Solera, provider of risk and asset management software and services to the automotive industry, in November 2014. Solera had bought HPI in 2008. Due to the similarity of the customers that both businesses target the decision was taken to merge both. Mr Rendle said that the merger between HPI and CAP is a “perfect marriage”.
Where firms’ roads merged
Cap launched in 1979 in Skipton, while HPI’s history can be traced back to 1938. HPI provides provenance details on a car such as mileage and accident history, while CAP deals with technical specifications and also past, present and future valuations of a vehicle.
The recent emissions scandal at VW has had a positive impact on CAP HPI as motorists pay more attention to vehicle details, said Ian Rendle. He said: “There’s a lot of eyeballs on it which means our services are in much demand. Whilst it’s not what I’d like to see in the industry, a scandal like that, we actually benefit quite well from that.”
Mr Rendle added that automotive industry is buoyant with new car registrations hitting a record high.