Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Thomas Middeldorp
From early childhood Thomas Middeldorp had only one mission: to be a car salesman. After a short time at the IVA he found another, special way to reach his goal. In the meantime he worked for fifteen years with pleasure in the car branche. Since last spring he strengthens the team at Louwman Exclusive.
You are a real enthusiast, so you must be feeling like a fish in the water?
Here it is a wonderful place to work. I worked already with brands of the higher segment and in my former job I have missed the part involving a premium brand. I’m experiencing that part now with McLaren and other exclusive foreign brands.
You did not choose the standard road toward the carbranche through the IVA?
I joined the IVA for three months but I was too young then. My whole life I knew that I wanted to work with cars so I just looked for a short-cut to get there.
I had a job as a pizzacourier and one night I had to deliver pizzas at a car dealer in Zoetermeer. The man behind the desk seemed to be the owner of a couple of cardealerships in the region. I asked him if he had some jobs for me to do on Saturdays. He gave me permission to have an interview at the location in Boskoop. There they were selling Peugeots. I had no special feeling for French cars but I thought if I can sell something without any emotion for it, then it will be much more easy to sell a brand I like.
I was seventeen years old when I went there on my moped and was accepted.
I topped up the brochures, dusted the cars and especially watched what the salesmen were doing. Until on one Saturday the salesman was absent during his lunchbreak and a grandfather with his granddaughter entered the showroom. The granddaughter was getting a 206CC for her birthday. We had one in stock which she had already seen before. I was hoping my colleague would not return too soon because I liked to do this myself. I sold the car just before my colleague returned from his lunch. I delivered the order to the salesmanager and he loved it.
Do you have the McLaren virus already now that you are working here for half a year?
Of course I entered the three-day training “Welcome to McLaren” where you’re immersed in the brand. There must be something wrong with you if you’re not a fan after that. It is good to see how McLaren develops. It is fascinating to rouse people’s interest in McLaren. It is a young brand but has a rich history in racing. This appeals to many people.
There are young guys in IT to whom the trendy part is very appealing. But there are also people who have been driving a Porsche or a Ferrari for years and move from their traditional choices. Nowadays Porsche has become a “normal” brand and McLaren is obviously not.
McLaren is by far an exclusive brand.
Yes, and fortunately also a small brand that makes the contact with the factory easy. If needed I can put a question to a regionmanager via Whatsapp and I get a reaction right away. The people at the factory appreciate our feedback, because we work every day with the cars as well as talk with the customers. On a regular base we come to see pre-prototype models on which we are allowed to react. Sometimes these discussions lead to real changes.
Is this passion for cars a family trait?
My father has some interest in cars but not as extreme as I have. I did not encourage my son but since he can talk he recognizes all the brands and calls out what he sees on the road. And each evening when I come home he asks me if I drove home with a beautiful car. When I come home with a special car I always take him for a short drive. If it is rather late we take a spin even when he is in his pyjamas.
Sales McLaren / employed since 2019 / age: 31 / children: 1 son of three years old / what keeps him busy outside work: Thomas likes to drive his motorbike and spends a lot of time with his wife and son during the weekend