GM techies achieve
Toti mechanic in final round of the Top Technician Skills Awards in PE
Dharmalingum, a technician from South Coast Motors in Amanzimtoti, competed in the final round of the Top Technician Skills Awards by General Motors South Africa’s (GMSA) in Port Elizabeth this week.
Dharmalingum is one of five technicians from GMSA’s 133 dealerships countrywide who made it through to the final round.
The others are Stefan de Wet from Reeds N1 City in Cape Town, Jaun Smit from Simpson Motors in Phalaborwa, Quintin Vermeulen from Williams Hunt in Pretoria and Seun Venter from Tommy Martin in 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 10 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 this week consisted of three practical rounds where the finalists were required to diagnose and fix problems within a specified time period. The practical exercises were based on three GM products — the Isuzu KB, a Chevrolet Cruze and an Opel Astra. Practical exercises were 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-focused attitude.
“Our mission at GM is to earn cus- tomers 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 R7 500. The winner will also receive a weekend getaway for two people at a South African destination.
In PE meanwhile, Sue-Ann Lewack (39) became the first certified female calibrator on the African continent.
Lewack placed a further feather in her cap by completing her certification in the shortest possible time of seven months instead of the normal 18 months. This is one of the most soughtafter qualifications for employees in the automotive sector.
She has already been assigned to assess GM’s vehicle and powertrain plants in India, where she trains her peers and she has led workshops in Egypt and Kenya.
DR ALF BENNETT, GMSA development and training manager
“Only 10 points out of a potential 200 separated the top five technicians in the semi-final round, with the top performer achieving an unprecedented 99%.”
Sue-Ann Lewack is the first female calibrator in the GM stable in Africa.