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.”
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
- Michael Strudwick, Mexted Motors (Tawa)
- Rachel Delaney, Delaney Mitsubishi (Paraparaumu)
- Matt Gay, Wayne Kirk Hastings (Hastings)
- Ben Lambert, Malcolm Lovett (Ashburton)
- Robert Greig, Wayne Kirk Napier (Napier)
- Andy Young, Wellington Mitsubishi (Wellington)
- Richard Schraven, Wayne Kirk Napier (Napier)
- Jolene Evans, Archibald Motors (Wellington)
- Mark Wright, McVerry Crawford (Palmerston North)