"I love cars anyway, and I love good people, and those are the two reasons that I do this job. I’m still feeling the excitement."
Hello Simon. How are you feeling about the new Ridgeway showroom?
It’s very exciting. I’m relatively new to Ridgeway, and the ethos it has towards the motor business is really refreshing. It embodies family, professionalism, and all the things you’d want to see in a company you do business with. For me, most importantly, they’re all car mad. Both Ridgeway and Maserati are all about having passion for the motor car.
As a car fan, working with Maserati must be a dream come true?
It really is. I find that the sort of customers I deal with have a very similar viewpoint to me. It’s not all about the numbers on a bit of paper, it’s about the experience and the lifestyle that they’ve worked hard to achieve.
For people who don’t know the brand, how would you describe it?
I would say that unlike other motor manufacturers, you really feel like you’re part of the family. When I went to visit Maserati in Italy, I certainly got that sense. There are people who have worked there for 50 years, and they live and breathe the marque. In terms of the products themselves, they’re all designed to be sports cars that also appear to the rational side. Maserati’s vehicles are not just exciting pieces of exotic automotive that sit in the garage, they’re actually the kind of cars that you can live with and drive every day, and that you can use with the family.
You mentioned visiting Maserati in Italy – how did that come about?
Anyone that’s customer-facing within the Maserati network will be flown to Modena, which is the original factory, for three or four days. There’s a practical element to the visit; you sit in a classroom and learn key things about the product and predominantly the history of Maserati. Apart from anything else, the main thing I took away from it was how infectious the passion was for the brand from everybody there.
Have you brought that passion and energy back with you?
Absolutely. I noticed a marked difference. I love cars anyway, and I love good people, and thoseare the two reasons that I do this job. I’m still feeling the excitement. When I talk to customers about the product, all I can remember is how those people in Italy feel about the product they’re making.
Does your passion for cars also take up a lot of your spare time?
It’s just always been there. My family aren’t particularly interested in cars, It’s just something I always remember knowing about. I remember pointing out special cars that I knew were really impressive when I was six or seven years old. Otherwise, I enjoy all of my spare time with my family. I’m married and we have a baby on the way, and I have a close network of friends and family. We also like to travel whenever we can.
"Maserati is less ostentatious, and more refined. In my opinion, it’s more of a thinking person’s Italian supercar."
Hi Dan, how are you finding Ridgeway Maserati?
I've just finished my first month, and it's been fantastic so far. It's a great brand, with a great heritage, especially for a petrolhead like myself. Everyone that I've met from Ridgeway, especially at this site, seems to be very passionate about cars in general, as well as customer service. The staff are dedicated to that much more personal touch. It’s all about getting something right, over anything else, and ensuring that everyone comes out feeling happy.
You mentioned being a petrolhead...
I've got a past in racing. I've got a racing licence and I've taken Ginettas and Radicals around the track. Even when I was younger I would take part in
go-karting championships. I still do bits of racing when I can; even if I'm not actually racing I still like to go out and do track days. I've driven most of the British circuits, but I'd love to go over and drive the Spa- Francorchamps, that’s definitely next on the list.
What other interests do you have off the track?
For most of my life I was actually a musician and I studied drums at a music school in London for three years. I was a drummer, playing mostly indie rock, and then stayed in London for a further four years as a bar manager. I didn’t much enjoy that, so one day I decided to instead get into an industry that I've always been passionate about. I haven't been here long, but I'm already loving it.
How much of a change has it been?
Through all the things I've done, and also from working in catering and things like that, the protocol is in fact very similar. It's also not a volume brand, where there is a lot of pressure to shift hundreds of cars. Here, the turnover of vehicles is a lot less, and as a result it's much more customer focused. The part I enjoy the most is talking to people about these cars.
And what did you know about Ridgeway?
I've always known about the group because I was born and bred locally. Members of my family have bought cars from Ridgeway over the years, so when I was looking at the motor trade it was the first port of call. It’s familiar and reliable, and it also has a great selection of vehicle brands.
And you must have been a fan of Maserati already?
Definitely, as a petrolhead I couldn’t help but know its legacy. It's been around a long time; it's just celebrated its 100th year. And there’s that amazing Italian design. The cars and their engines are designed beautifully, and the brand is a lot more subtle and understated compared to its contemporaries. Often other similar manufacturers can be aa lot louder and larier, and more in your face. Maserati is less ostentatious, and more refined. In my opinion, it's more of a thinking person's Italian supercar.
"Straight after leaving school I went to college, and then from there I got a job with a ferrari race team at Silverstone."
Hi Adam. When did you start at Ridgeway?
I started back in December, so I've been here about five months now. So far, it's been really good. I joined as a technician but I'm progressing into an aftersales role, which is a nice step forward, and really rewarding.
And we understand you’ve worked in the automotive industry before?
Yes, I initially started out with an apprenticeship at Ferrari, and then worked at Mercedes-Benz UK as a mechanic, while on the side, self-contracting for various race teams in motorsport.
It sounds exciting! How did you get into motorsport?
Straight after leaving school I went to college, and then from there I got a job with a Ferrari race team based at Silverstone, where I did an apprenticeship as a technician. In terms of self-contracting, I usually stick to GT racing, so a lot of the work I do is with Ferrari, because that is where my background is.
And how long were you at Mercedes-Benz?
I was there for two years as a mechanic, inspecting the ex-fleet cars. It was something I looked into one winter when I was out of work, and I ended up staying there for two years.
So, why the switch to Maserati?
Mercedes-Benz closed the process down that we were doing and then this job was advertised, so I went for it and got it. Having the background in Ferrari helps as it's quite similar in terms of product. The nature of the brand is a bit more specialist than run of the mill, so that certainly was an appealing factor.
Have you had to undergo further training since joining?
I've been on manufacturer training, so I’ve had a few model range courses, as well as a history and background of Maserati course to bring me up to date with the brand.