General ManagerAndrew Ayling joined the business as Sales Manager on 1 August 2004 and is not only responsible for dealing with customers but is also the company’s liaison with the motorhome manufacturers that supply a large proportion of the company’s stock vehicles. As he comes up to his third anniversary of joining the company, we asked Andrew to tell us a little about himself and the Southdowns sales operation.
Q What made you decide to join the family business?
A A large part of the appeal was to work in the industry that, as a family, we have all enjoyed for the last 40 years. We’ve had camper vans and motorhomes for almost as long as I can remember so we all have an interest in the product. Also, as a dad with a young family, working in a family business meant that hopefully I would have some control over my working hours so that I could get a good balance between time spent at work and at home with my family. It doesn’t always happen, but I’m working on it!
Q How would you describe an average working day?
A Busy. My job is totally customer facing and I deal with all aspects of sales from following up initial enquiries to the final handover of vehicles once a sale has been finalised.
Q What is your involvement with the various motorhome manufacturers?
A I act as the company’s UK contact for the manufacturers that supply our vehicles. I spend a considerable amount of time looking after the other UK Rimor dealers and helping and advising their sales teams around the country. I am hoping to replicate the Rimor dealer network with some of our other franchises.
Q When was your first motorhome experience?
A My earliest memory is being in my dad’s split-screen VW campervan when I was about five or six. The back window had transfers of James Bond bullet holes stuck to it and my brother and I were lying on the back shelf pretending to shoot passing cars as we drove along.
Q What was the first motorhome you owned?
A I bought my first VW campervan about 20 years ago.
Q What is the appeal of motorhomes for you?
A The appeal has changed over the years. Before I had a family, I loved the freedom of wild camping - stopping in a lay-by or in the middle of nowhere with no facilities and just enjoying the experience. Now with three young children, we camp in places with a pool and a playground and a kids club! But I still love the idea of being able to pack up all your belongings and go wherever you want to - creating your own destiny I suppose.
Q If you could take a motorhome anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A Overland to India - my wife Louise and I spent some time in India before our children were born and I’d love to go back and explore more of the country.
Q If you could fulfil one ambition in your life, what would it be?
A I’d like to pay my mortgage off! But seriously, one of my main aims is for Southdowns to be regarded as an extremely professional operation - we all strive towards that every day.
Q Finally, tell us one interesting fact about yourself
A I was the youngest person ever to receive the Chief Scouting Award
Andrew lives on the coast with his wife Louise and their three children, Archie, Molly and Esther. There used to be two Harley Davidsons in their garage - there are now three bikes there but now they’re smaller!
Andrew can be contacted on :
Southdowns Switchboard Number: +44 (0)2392 674820