Quentin Hylands, Southdowns Customer Services
Collecting Your Concorde?
Never driven a large vehicle in Europe? Seasoned driver Quinton Hylands offers his tips for a safe trip.
If you are planning to buy a Concorde from Southdowns, unless you plan to collect it from the factory in Asbach Germany yourself, the chances are that it will be driven back to our motorhome centre in Portsmouth by Southdowns driver and general assistant Quinton Hylands.
Transporting our top-of-the-range motorhomes by low loader is not an option, some at a hefty 12m long! So picking up a Concorde means a flight to Germany and a long drive home for Quinton, taking care not to prang that pristine new motorhome en route! Once at the factory, there’s the handover to be dealt with - ensuring that the motorhome is ready for delivery and exactly meets the customer’s specification. The vehicle is also inspected and road tested before we take possession from the factory.
Some customers are keen to have their vehicle handed over to them in person so Quinton will fly out with them, sometimes arranging to collect another vehicle at the same time and help them through the handover process. This is usually straightforward but just occasionally an issue needs to be dealt with with a call back to Southdowns HQ in Portsmouth. Quinton often drives back to the UK with the customer to ensure everything progresses smoothly but even if he is doing some of the driving, he always suggests the new owner drives his or her new Concorde out of the factory. “It’s a special moment,” he says “and one that people should savour, after all a new motorhome is a major purchase.”
Quinton is now a familiar face at Concorde and often chats to German customers waiting to pick up their vehicles. On a recent trip he was happy to find that the Southdowns brand is familiar in Germany too, when another Concorde customer recognised the logo on his shirt and said “Ah Southdowns, we use your website here in Germany. Lots of pictures, very good.” We are proud of our website, but maybe a German language version of our website is on the cards!
Quinton has driven many vehicles through Europe. His first task is to fuel up and make sure he’s got the all important high visibility vest, first aid kit and breathalyser test kit on board - you can’t drive legally in Europe without them. Quinton also advises anyone driving long distances to pack a good selection of cable-ties - useful in all kinds of situations. All Concordes come fitted with the obligatory warning light and triangle in case of a breakdown but Quinton has only needed to use these once when collecting a motorhome, when he has an issue with a chassis warning light and had to pull over to double-check the manual.