Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Hans Fonke
A career in banking and insurances beckoned on the horizon, but the passion for cars as well as the technique made Hans Fonke decide otherwise. He studied car engineering and became a mechanic. The love for cars did not change and nowadays Hans is active as a Service Advisor for Lamborghini as well as Maserati at Louwman Exclusive.
So you nearly a banker?
I studied ‘MEAO’ Banking and Insurances, but during the last year I decided to quit. I preferred a technical profession. I used to work on mopeds and tuned them for anybody in the small town I grew up in. So I changed to the ‘MTS’ Car Technique in Utrecht. I rolled through it without any problem and after my internship I became a mechanic at a village garage in Kockengen. There, I worked with all types of cars from Fiat Pandas to tractors, so that I learned all the aspects well. In 2000 Hessing approached me to come and work with them. I started with Ford USA, but changed within a month to Maserati and Lamborghini.
Since then you are a Service Advisor, how do you like to work outside the workshop?
I am a Service Advisor now for ten years and I like it. I wanted more contact with the clients so this is the perfect job. The first year I had to get used to the job and win the clients trust. But since then I am having a good time. I especially like to build a relationship with clients. Of course our location is wonderful, but the key is hospitality, our core business. You notice that our clients share their positive experience with others. Recently a new client came to the reception desk after being tipped by a friend to bring his car to us. This is nice to hear and of course I do my utmost so that he is happy and will come back to us the next time.
Is the passion, besides the contact with the customers, for technique still there?
Yes, I have my hobby projects to maintain that passion. I have a Citroen Mehari and recently I bought a 1981 Land Rover with most parts delivered in a crate. I rebuilt the car myself. So you keep the technical knowledge. Often I am in the workshop with the technicians to hear all about their findings and repairs. If there is a problem you have to be able to give the client an explanation and also the technicians. Then the technical knowledge comes in handy.
Is there a favorite brand in Louwman Exclusives product range?
I am responsible for Lamborghini as well as Maserati and these are also my favorite brands within Louwman Exclusive. My heart lays with Italian cars, I used to own a Maserati myself. Nowadays there are more Maseratis on the road than a couple of years ago. Back in the days there were peak moments in the workshop during the spring and autumn because of changing winter or summer tires. Nowadays it is busy in the workshop all year round, even during wintertime.
Do you see the passion for cars also with your clients?
We meet various clients at our reception desk. Some do not care much about their car, but for many the car is also their hobby. They really understand when the car has to stay a bit longer than usual in our workshop. After all it is the car that needs the attention. Some of these cars can go faster than 300 km/h so we need to control the cars the best way we can before they hit the road again.
Service Advisor / employed since 2012 / Age 44 / What keeps him busy besides work: Hans loves to do chores in his new house or work on his Citroen Mehari.