As the Managing Director of VPCM, and with decades of global experience in the automotive retail industry, Erik has seen his fair share of challenges and achievements. Here, we look past the Managing Director, for a sneak peek into what really makes the man.
Let us start with the easy questions
Golf R or GTI? The Golf R. No doubt the hottest hatch around.
Movies or books? Movies, because life isn't a picture, it is a movie!
Describe Volkswagen in one word. Dynamic. It is a brand that is always in motion.
Describe yourself in one word. Direct. This is what us Dutch are known for.
Chocolate or chips? Chocolate. Always chocolate.
Android or iOS? IOS, what else?
Beach or mountains? Mountains by the sea. Nothing more magnificent than that.
Favourite Malaysian food? Laksa, since day one.
If you could own three cars, what would they be? The Golf R, Porsche 911 and Lamborghini Urus.
You are known for your "poker face", so what would always bring a smile to your face? My family.
Facebook or Instagram? It's LinkedIn for me.
What do you do for fun? I cycle to exercise, so that I can have more laksa and chocolates.
On to the more serious stuff, what was VPCM's greatest achievement for 2020?
Our launch highlight last year were our R-Line models, the Tiguan Allspace R-Line, Arteon R-Line and Passat R-Line, and they were all very well received by the market.
We strengthened our Aftersales service by launching 15 campaigns for the benefit of our owners. In line with our core principal of 'digital first', we took further steps to digitalise our aftersales to offer safe, professional aftersales care with our Online Service Booking and Service Cam services.
Sounds good, tell us more
It is important for us to look at different ways to enhance the owner experience journey, so we looked at ways to engage and serve our customers better. A key component of this is through our Volkswagen Cares mobile app. The results are in the numbers - we surpassed 30,000 owner subscribers by the end of November last year.
What I am most proud of though, was how everyone in the team pulled through and really rose to the occasion during the most challenging of years. When the pandemic hit, Volkswagen launched the #WeNotMe campaign as a show of solidarity, and this is firmly anchored in our corporate culture. Together with our dealer partners, we were able to achieve what we had set out - and for that, I am grateful to them.
What do you hope to achieve for the Volkswagen brand in 2021?
The continued focus for the business is recovery and to find the way forward. For us, it isn't about being the biggest, but to be the best. We want to continue offering the best premium affordable products possible and will have new additions to our model line-up, new products that I am personally very excited about.
What about Volkswagen owners?
We also want to continue strengthening the ownership experience for our owners - on whichever customer touchpoints that needs improving. This year, we'll will place even more emphasis on how to retain our owners. Because once you purchase a Volkswagen, you really are part of the family.