PORT ELIZABETH – The final round of General Motors South Africa’s (GMSA) Top Technician Skills Awards takes place in Port Elizabeth this week.
Across its 133 dealerships countrywide, GMSA invited technicians to participate in the challenge. The five technicians who made it through to the final round are: Govender Dharmalingum (South Coast Motors, KwaZulu-Natal), Stefan de Wet (Reeds N1 City, Cape Town), Jaun Smit (Simpson Motors Phalaborwa), Quintin Vermeulen (Williams Hunt Pretoria) and Seun Venter (Tommy Martin, Johannesburg).
The competition is a joint initiative of the Service Division of GMSA and the National Dealer Council and aims to promote excellence in customer service, technical expertise while supporting GMSA’s technological innovations in vehicle manufacturing.
GMSA Development and Training Manager, Dr Alf Bennett, said this year’s search for the best service technician in the Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu dealer network has been intense. “Just under 300 technicians participated in the first knockout round and round two saw 50 technicians compete for a place in the Top 10.
“Only ten points out of a potential 200 separated the top five technicians in the semi-final round, with the top performer achieving an unprecedented 99%. The results are indicative of the high standard of technicians we have in our dealer network today,” said Bennett.
The finals will consist of three practical rounds where the finalists will be required to diagnose and fix problems within a specified time period.
The practical exercises will be based on three GM products- the Isuzu KB, a Chevrolet Cruze and an Opel Astra. Practical exercises will be scored by trained observers.
Brian Olson, GMSA vice president for Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing said the competition helps strengthen technical expertise and drives a customer focussed attitude. “Our mission at GM is to earn customers for life. We are focused on putting the customer at the centre of everything we do,” said Olson.
The top three technicians will receive gift vouchers to the value of R15 000, R10 000 and R7500. The winner will also receive a weekend getaway for two people at a South African destination.
The final takes place in Port Elizabeth on 16 and 17 September.