Volkswagen's top Service Advisors and Master Technicians battled it out in a tightly-contested final to be named winner of the UK's Service Qualification World Championships.
The overall winners - both from Newcastle-based Retailers - were Scott Anderson from Benfield Silverlink and Ian Perry from Benfield Motors of Newcastle. Scott claimed the title of Service Advisor of the Year, while Ian retained his crown as Master Technician of the Year.
The finalists had already navigated their way through two rounds of online questions, before they came head-to-head at Volkswagen's National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes for a series of theoretical and practical challenges. Some had to battle the weather too: Service Advisor Craig Huggins and Master Technician Gary Arthur set out from Specialist Cars in Aberdeen at 05:00 on Monday and didn't arrive in Milton Keynes until 02:00 on Tuesday. Their train stopped half way, which meant a £210 taxi ride and only a few hours sleep before the final began.
After a hard day of competing, the finalists enjoyed a gala dinner at a local hotel where they were joined by their Brand Managers and managers from Volkswagen UK and Volkswagen AG, including Chris Craft, Director of Volkswagen UK, Alex Smith, Head of Retail Operations, Matthew Barham, Quality Development Manager, Christiane Wotzel-Mosch, responsible for the Service Qualification World Championship, and Jens Metzner, Volkswagen AG's Aftersales Market Manager for the UK and Ireland.
"It was a tight contest," said Matthew Barham. "Craig and Gary did brilliantly considering the struggle they had just to be here. But in the end our winners emerged as Scott and Ian who really shone throughout the day."
He continued: "It's so important to us and our customers that we have the right people in our network. It's not only technical expertise but also the ability to deliver a level of customer service which lives up to the quality that people expect from our cars."
The winners will go on to represent Volkswagen UK at the international Service Qualification World Championship finals at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg in May 2011.
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