Mitsubishi New Zealand


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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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Mitubishi awards top NZ dealers

Left to right: Brent Delaney, Rachel Delaney, Simon Lucas, Carolyn Lucas, Matthew Barr, Nicola Barr, Angela Chatfield, Aaron Chatfield, Sharron Windust, Chris Windust, Darrell Russell, Catherine Russell, Rae Barton, Mark Barton, Tomoki Yanagawa.

Seven Mitsubishi dealers were awarded at the annual Diamond Dealer awards, held in Arrowtown. A range of provincial and urban dealerships from Christchurch to Whangarei were selected from the 56-strong Mitsubishi Motors network in New Zealand.

The winners were; Mathew Barr (Christchurch Mitsubishi), Mark Barton (Auckland Motors Mitsubishi), Aaron Chatfield (Bay City Mitsubishi), Brent Delaney (Delaney Mitsubishi), Simon Lucas (Simon Lucas Mitsubishi), Darrell Russell (Piako Mitsubishi Morrinsville) and Sharron Windust (Pacific Motor Group).

The awards follow a successful 12 months for Mitsubishi, who closed the 2016 financial year with its biggest March in 27 years. The network 1056 sales across the country for a total 9,718 vehicles sold – a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent.

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand’s chief operating officer, Warren Brown, attributed the company’s success to the strength and resilience of the dealer network. “We are extremely proud to have achieved a seventh consecutive year of growth and credit for that must go to all those teams across the country, who have put in the hard work and dedication required to ensure customers drive away happy,” he said.

“Our Diamond Dealers are right at the front of the pack, demonstrating excellence in every aspect of their business. We are extremely proud to award them our highest accolade and give them the peer and market recognition they deserve.”

Several Diamond Dealer recipients also collected other awards on the night. The trophies for top new vehicle sales, top market share and finance dealer of the year were awarded to Sharron Windust of Pacific Group Motors in Whangarei.

Mark Baron of Auckland Motors, who won his 13th Diamond Dealer Award this year, also recieved a service excellence award.

Aaron Chatfield of Bay City Mitsubishi, in Tauranga, took home his fourth Diamond Dealer award in a row as well as excellence in customer service and top market share. Rural dealer Darrell Russell of Piako Mitsubishi, Morrinsville, also claimed a top new vehicle sales award.

Other winners included Mexted Mitsubishi and Houston Mitsubishi Blenheim, for customer service, Andrew Simms Mitsubishi for top new vehicle sales, Archibald Mitsubishi for overall parts excellence and top market share, and Magnus Lennie Mitsubishi, who won the managing directors award.

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Mitsubishi bolsters NZ managers

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand has restructured its senior management team following a seventh consecutive year of growth, as the company looks to further build on its local market share.

Former head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook has taken on the role of general manager of vehicle sales and marketing. A 15-year veteran of Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand, Cook will now handle fleet sales and customer service.

“We want our customers to feel cared for at every point in their relationship with us,” Cook says.

Cook told Autofile that it is an expansion of his former role, although there is some ‘filtering down of responsibilities’ from his former role to other staff members.

Last financial year, Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand had an 18 per cent year-on-year sales increase, and Cook wants this number to grow.

 “This financial year, we’re looking to sell 11,000 units,” he says. “I’m confident we’ll achieve that.”

Noel Comerford has been made general manager of after sales and will spearhead a three-year initiative to strengthen Mitsubishi’s after-sales performance and grow its position in the industry.

“We have a very talented and dedicated team across our 56 dealerships nationwide,” he says.

“We’ve invested in a new training programme and last year took our best-performing sales and service staff to Japan to compete against the top individuals from the global Mitsubishi Motors network.”

“I’m convinced we will achieve the ambitious goals we’ve set ourselves.”

Managing director Tomoki Yanagawa says the restructure would support the foundations of their recent market success.

“Thanks to the collective efforts of our entire team, Mitsubishi Motors has experienced extraordinary growth in New Zealand over the past seven years,” he says.

 “These appointments both recognise the contributions Daniel and Noel have made individually, and ensure we have the right structure in place to grow even further into the future.”

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