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Wage watchers: how much does a car salesman earn?
Car salesman Dolf van de Ven, 34, from Veltem-Beisem talks about what he earns and how he spends it.
What do you do for a living?
I work for Hergon Group in Leuven – it’s a Ford and Land Rover dealership. I advise people who wish to buy a Ford, and I’m also responsible for price negotiations, sealing deals and arranging vehicle deliveries. Because of the crisis, people are much more wary of buying a new car; sometimes they will postpone their purchase for a year. Ford buyers are, by and large, very rational. With Land Rover it’s different – people come to the showroom with the intention of buying one because they really want one.
Do you enjoy your work?
Absolutely! I’ve been passionate about the car industry and automobile sports since I was a boy. Besides, I work in a very nice team
How many hours a week do you work?
I normally work 44 hours a week. I work five days a week, and have Sundays and Mondays off. In January I worked seven days a week because of the Brussels Motor Show; roughly 59 hours a week.
What do you think of your salary?
I take home €2,090 (plus company car and eco-cheques). I find it average. For the number of hours I put in, it’s not particularly high. But there’s the economic crisis to take into account. We don’t get paid commission anymore, either; we get a fixed wage instead. It is actually a growing trend in the car industry.
What does the biggest chunk of your salary go towards?
Rent on the house. But we are currently looking at buying something.
Are you more careful with your money because of the crisis?
No. I have relative job security. I work in a big showroom, and having two salesmen there is no luxury. And even though staff turnover is pretty high in this sector, we have both worked here for quite a while.
What do you gladly pay for?
Shoes, and quality interior design such as mirrors and furniture.
What do you dream of?
I dream of a quiet life in Italy or the south of France with my wife and our future children. The retirement age always gets pushed back, so the finances don’t collapse. I do my bit and have inherited a work ethic from my parents. But by the time I’m 50 I would like to do what I want to do, in nice surroundings.