Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Sander van Druten
As a child Sander van Druten was more interested in airplane technology, but chose the training in automotive technology instead. After his first job at Ford he became a technician at Hessing. As a Service Advisor at Louwman Exclusive Sander is in charge of five British brands. During a cup of coffee he explains how he manages that.
How about your job?
It’s a very busy job. The season for Morgan owners is on-going and because of that a lot of cars are scheduled for maintenance. But there is sufficient work for McLaren, Bentley, Rolls Royce and TVR as well.
Have you always been involved with British brands?
No, as a technician I worked for Lamborghini and Maserati at Hessing. There I was able to make the switch to Service Advisor. I look back with pride that I succeeded to make the step. As a Service Advisor you need other skills than as a technician. At the helpdesk it is hard to concentrate on one task. It sometimes happens that you receive three telephone calls, a technician waiting for you and a customer arriving all at the same time.
Are there according to you many similarities between the different brands?
It looks like the brands have nothing in common but the people who drive them are mostly car lovers and often rather special people. Successful people who know what they want, for instance why they choose for a McLaren or a Morgan. Each brand has its own appearance. A Morgan is a unique car because it is built by hand. That is also the charm of the brand. A McLaren is somewhat similar because it is assembled by people and not by a robot like other sports cars.
Do you follow special courses at the factory, like all the technicians, to get to learn the cars better?
For each brand I have followed a training, but at McLaren they developed a unique approach. Before you learn the product knowledge, you get the basic training called ‘Welcome to McLaren’, there you learn about the history of the brand and their vision. Why do they build these cars? Not how, but especially why. During the training you go for a drive on the Goodwood track where the founder Bruce McLaren had a fatal accident. During the factory visit the guided tour is led by his daughter Amanda McLaren. This makes McLaren unique.
Do you see this personal approach back in the cars?
Yes, they absolutely want to build the best handling cars in its class. To be the winner, that’s the goal! They are not only focused on the appearance of their models, but they really try to build the ultimate racecar for the open road. For that they use carbon fiber bodies, while other cars are still made of aluminium. They use techniques from the Formula 1, that is really fantastic. Even professional drivers are astonished about the way a McLaren drives.
What is the best aspect of your job?
The nicest thing about this job is that it is all about people. It looks like it is about cars, but in the end it’s all about people. For me it is nice that it’s still close to technique but mainly it’s about the relationship. How you can handle the diversity of people. This applies to our customers as well as colleagues. I have seen Louwman Exclusive grow from nothing to what it is now. One of the most important parts was to build an entire team. If there is no partnership there is no team and it will not work out.
Customers realize in a split second if it is the right company and also if we enjoy our work.
Service Advisor / Employed since: 2012 / Age: 45 / Children: 2 / What keeps him busy besides work: his two children and preferably frequent leisure trips.