Suzuki GB PLC has crowned the winners of this yearâs Skills Awards at a gala dinner which took place at the Horwood House country manor in Buckinghamshire. The annual event is the culmination of the six-month contest which is part of the vehicle manufacturerâs distance learning programme, and is designed to honour the best performing aftersales managers, advisors and technicians within its automobile dealer network.
More than 470 people participated in the contest, and throughout the early elimination rounds, which spanned four months, these individuals were whittled down through their responses to a series of demanding questions. The scores then revealed the finalists in the three main categories which were made up of the top performers from each of the dealer networkâs six zones in the UK and Ireland. All were rewarded with a trip to Hungary, where they took in the sights of Budapest and visited Suzukiâs production facility in Esztergom.
To win the coveted top prize, the remaining contestants completed another round of gruelling tasks in-line with their specialist area. This saw Chris Hall from Autoworld Chesterfield (Derbyshire) emerge victorious and be named Technician of the Year, whilst Dani Murray from St Peters (Wolverhampton) claimed the title of Aftersales Advisor of the Year for the second time in succession. The coveted Aftersales Manager of the Year accolade went to Paul Coghlan from West End Suzuki (Dundee). All of the winners stepped up to receive their awards plus a £300 Love to Shop voucher from Denis Houston, Suzuki GBâs Director of Aftersales and Dale Wyatt, Director of the Automobile Division at Suzuki GB.
The ceremony also included the presentation of certificates within the Apprentice of the Year category which was integrated within the gala dinner in 2015. This is the result of a final year competition and the nomination by trainers of Automobile Service Technician and Parts / Customer Service Advisor apprentices in their first and second years. The Tim Crewdson Award, which recognises the apprentice that demonstrated an outstanding improvement during the last 12 months, was handed to Matthew Osbourne of Montyâs of Sheffield.
Denis Houston, Director of Aftersales at Suzuki GB PLC, said: Everyone who took part in the competition, from beginning to end, did remarkably well, and we would like to congratulate them for their incredible support in always making this such a fantastic contest. The yearly initiative not only recognises achievements, but more importantly, itâs a valuable learning tool where aftersales staff and technicians can hone their skills and network with their peers from across the country to exchange best practice.