Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Stephan Smits
Stephan Smits loves a challenge and quickly switched from the regular workshop to a job with exclusive sports cars. Meanwhile he works already for 11 years on among others Lamborghini and recently he joined a select group: the Lamborghini Master Technicians.
Congratulations achieving the status Master Technician! How long did it take you to get there?
I followed 53 training courses by Lamborghini and started doing so in 2011. Since 2015 I actively followed specific training courses to be a Master Technician. Sometimes the training is about car technique, for instance about a V12 petrol engine. Other courses are about specific models like the recent Lamborghini Urus. The car industry changes continuously so I will follow a couple of courses a year to keep pace.
Lamborghini technician sounds like a dream job. Does it also feel like that too?
Apparently so. As a child I had posters of cars in my room and I had lots of model cars. My father is a technician at Toyota so I got the passion of cars already early. After my education Automotive Technology I also started to work at a Toyota dealership. After a couple of years I ended up at Kroymans through a former colleague. There I worked on Maserati and Ferrari. When Maserati moved I moved with them. Next to Lamborghini I still work on Maserati.
So you are a real ‘sports car man’?
Sportscars are fun but for me it is a matter of being challenged in my work. That’s why the Urus is so interesting. In principal Lamborghini manufactures only sportscars but now they also came up with a SUV. To me it is a successful car and also interesting because it is a real new type of car for Lamborghini. The fact alone that this car has four doors and a V8 in front makes it a very special Lamborghini and quit different to work on.
And did you find the challenge in your work?
The nice thing about our work is that not one day is the same and it brings many challenges. When you work at a regular car business a small overhaul takes half an hour and most of the time not really exciting. For most of the cars in our workshop it often takes longer than half an hour, especially with the older models. Lamborghini has a flat underside all of sheet metal. Changing the oil will take you some time. Also we are more in contact with the factory about repairs. That makes the work very diverse.
Do you have challenging projects to work on during your time off?
I drive a Peugeot 406 Station there is no challenge to maintain it. It is just a practical car, because I have two young children. I also have a classic Mini out of 1989 which I am giving a total restoration. You can still buy many parts for these models so I will restore it beautifully. That is quite something else than working on a Lamborghini or a Maserati. The technique of the Mini is very simple. For me the most advanced part is the radio!
Technician Lamborghini & Maserati / Employed since: 2012 / Age: 37 / Children: 2 / What keeps him busy beside work: Stephan likes to work on his Mini and days out with his wife and children.