Sometimes it is not necessary to come first in a competition to be a winner – and that is what Team South Africa is bringing back from the recent Volvo Trucks global service market competition, Vista, where it finished in eighteenth place.
The winning team at the final in Volvo Trucks’ hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden was team Kiired Insenerid from Estonia followed by teams from Denmark and Sweden.
More than 16 000 technicians in some 4 500 teams from Volvo Trucks and Volvo Buses’ global dealer network, participated in this year’s Vista championship – a global event that was first run back in 1957.
Team South Africa, which was made up of four service specialists and technicians from Volvo Trucks Cape Town, came in a respectable 18th position out of the 43 teams that participated in the world final.
“Our mechanics play a key role in contributing to our customer’s success by keeping their trucks on the road, and Vista is a great way for them to improve their workshop skills. I’m very impressed by the technical knowledge of the teams this year and the speed with which they solved the challenges presented to them,” commented Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.
The main objectives of the Vista competition are to encourage competence development and to build team spirit and pride. Highly skilled and motivated technicians enable Volvo Trucks workshops to carry out fault diagnosis and fix trucks’ problems ‘right first time’, promptly and to high-quality standards.
These skills are key in helping customers achieve maximum uptime for their trucks. In the end, this leads to improved customer service.
In the finals held in Gothenburg, 43 teams of technicians and service market staff competed for two days to complete six stations, on topics including CAN Link fault-tracing, I-Shift and bodywork.
Two stations were VR stations with a focus on electric vehicles, one assignment consisted of installing an electric motor on a truck. The numbers of electric trucks and buses are now quickly growing and safely working with electric motors is an important skill for technicians in practically every workshop around the world.
Waldemar Christensen, MD of Volvo Trucks South Africa, said although the SA team did not walk away from the competition with top honours, they learned invaluable lessons were learnt that will benefit local customers.
“Vista is not only important for Volvo Trucks’ aftermarket personnel, but also of great importance for the entire company. It is a way of showing how much we all value the hard work carried out at our workshops all over the world, and that we invest in what our customers appreciate most – world-class service,” says Christensen.
*Vista stands for Volvo International Service Training Awards. It started in 1957 and was originally a competition for Volvo technicians in Sweden. 20 years later, by 1977 it had reached out across all continents, attracting authorized Volvo dealers from all over the world. Today Vista is a biennial event and the biggest competition for service market personnel in the world.