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Mitsubishi Motors tests their best

MMNZ’s top service technician Javan Huxtable from Houston Mitsubishi Nelson at last year’s competition.

The twelve finalists competed across three categories at Mitsubishi’s state-of-the-art training workshop in Porirua, battling it out to be named top in their field within the company’s network.

That it was such a close call between the finalists to name a winner demonstrates the strength in depth enjoyed across the country, said aftersales general manager, Noel Comerford.

“It was highly satisfying that all of our finalists performed at an exceptionally high level. Javan, John and Sean just shaded it with an all-round performance that showcased their outstanding skills, efficiency and professionalism in a workshop environment,” he said.

“We want every customer to know that, if they need to take their vehicle in for service, our teams can quickly and correctly diagnose and remedy any issue there may be.”

Best Service Technician: Javan Huxtable, Houston Mitsubishi (Nelson)

Best Service Advisor: Sean Freeman, McVerry Crawford (Feilding)

Best Parts Advisor: John Baker, Mexted Mitsubishi (Tawa)

The Parts Advisor category was added to this year’s competition, as the company continues to expand its focus on aftersales service standards.

“We’re the only company in the global Mitsubishi Motors network to include a Parts Advisor category in our skills competition,” said Mr Comerford. “We believe we’re also the first automotive brand in New Zealand to do so.

“We wanted to recognise the important role our parts advisors play in aftersales service. By challenging our people to test themselves and better themselves in competition against their colleagues, we aim to drive motivation and performance across the board. Ultimately it’s a win-win for our team and our customers.”

Technical Service Skills Competition puts the spotlight on technical know-how and service savvy.

Each of the finalists was required to complete a theory examination in the morning, before demonstrating their skills in a practical challenge. Parts Advisor winner John Baker says that it was fantastic to be involved in the competition.

He credits his success to the high standards set at Mexted Mitsubishi, which also produced last year’s Service Advisor winner.

“We’re expected to always go the extra mile to ensure the customer is satisfied. When you get to a competition like this, it’s just about doing what you do in your normal day. I’ve also been working with Mitsubishi parts for more than 13 years, so I know them really well.”

Service Technician winner Javan Huxtable says that he was happy to successfully defend the title he won last year, as the level of competition was even higher.

“I was the only finalist to make it back from last year’s competition and I thought the quality of the contestants was even better than before. Competitions like this give people an incentive to improve their skills and I think that’s why it was a lot harder,” he says.

Sean Freeman, who won the Service Advisor category, said “it was a really enjoyable competition. I’ve been involved with other manufacturer’s competitions and they weren’t as hands-on, so I really enjoyed that aspect,” he says. “It was also great to get the chance to talk with other Service Advisors and find out how they do things. I was able to pick up a couple of tricks to take back to our workshop!”

All three winners will enjoy a trip to Japan in February, where they will witness the country’s own Technical Skills Competition and take a tour of its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.

2017 MMNZ Technical Service Skills Competition finalists

Service Advisors

  • Michael Strudwick, Mexted Motors (Tawa)
  • Rachel Delaney, Delaney Mitsubishi (Paraparaumu)
  • Matt Gay, Wayne Kirk Hastings (Hastings)

Service Technicians

  • Ben Lambert, Malcolm Lovett (Ashburton)
  • Robert Greig, Wayne Kirk Napier (Napier)
  • Andy Young, Wellington Mitsubishi (Wellington)

Parts Advisors

  • Richard Schraven, Wayne Kirk Napier (Napier)
  • Jolene Evans, Archibald Motors (Wellington)
  • Mark Wright, McVerry Crawford (Palmerston North)
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Toyota awards trip to Japan to lucky schoolgirl

An excited ten-year-old kiwi girl has won a trip to Japan as part of a competition run by Toyota run between last November and February 2017.

Over 830,000 children from 79 countries submitted entries to their country’s iteration of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, which in New Zealand was run between last November and February 2017.

Palmerston North winner, Sophie Irvine.

Sophie Irvine, who lives in Palmerston North, won the competition for her vivid imagination, and will get to travel to the home of Toyota for six days. The trip includes two days visit to the Toyota facilities at Nagoya with other winners from the oceanic region.

Sophie is set to make the most of her prize. “I am so excited to be off to Japan,” said Sophie, “I have learnt an introduction speech in Japanese that I can share with my hosts.”

Sophie was competing in the 8-11 year olds section of the competition, which also catered for under eight year olds and 12-15 year olds, with hundreds of New Zealand children submitting entries.

She won for her creative “Bee-Car Seed Library” entry, which collects and sprinkle seeds world-wide to promote more plant growth on earth. Some seeds are funnelled to a library for future use.

Toyota New Zealand senior executives, guided by the CEO of Te Manawa Museum, Andy Lowe, judged the entries, with the top three in each age group being submitted to Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.

Artworks were judged on three key elements – the message, the uniqueness and the art characteristics.

“When kids have a chance to imagine the future and improve the world their children will live in, there are no boundaries,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Marketing.

“I loved Sophie’s colourful interpretation of the theme and the bee’s Learner plate, she really thought outside the box.”

Sophie left for Japan yesterday, and her trip include sight-seeing in Tokyo and Tokyo Disneyland before returning home.

The Toyota Museum, Nagoya, Japan.


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