GM techies achieve

Toti me­chanic in fi­nal round of the Top Tech­ni­cian Skills Awards in PE

The Witness - Wheels - - MO­TOR­ING - — Wheels Re­porter.

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%.”

PHOTO: QUICK­PIC

Sue-Ann Lewack is the first fe­male cal­i­bra­tor in the GM sta­ble in Africa.

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