The best Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu technician in the country hails from Nelson Mandela Bay. Gawie Engelbrecht (30), of Williams Hunt Port Elizabeth, claimed this coveted title during the annual General Motors South Africa (GMSA) Top Technician Skills Awards.
The runners up were Hendre Hulscher of Reeds N1 City (32) in the Western Cape and Sujit Munnisunker (47) of South Coast Motors in Kwa-Zulu Natal, who claimed second and third place respectively.
The three top technicians were the last men standing after a total of 327 technicians across GMSA’s 132 dealerships participated in the first knockout round. This was followed by round two where 67 technicians competed for a place in the top 10. During the semi-finals the top five remained and they competed in final round during two days of gruelling diagnostics and problem solving.
Engelbrecht, who has been working for Williams Hunt Port Elizabeth for the past 11 years, described the competition as challenging and tough. “I just concentrated on fixing the problems. Throughout the competition I stayed focused and gave it my best,” he said.
The young man was also recently promoted to service manager, but said he remains hands-on in the workshop, often working long hours to diagnose vehicle issues. “Winning the competition and having your skills and abilities recognised is a huge honour. I must admit that I feel very proud of myself. Our Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu customers are everything and they deserve technicians that are trained to the highest standard.”
Ian Nicholls, President and Managing Director of GM South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, congratulated the technicians for delivering service excellence. He said one of the company’s core values is putting the customer at the centre of everything they do. “The Top Technician competition is proof of this commitment to our customers, where the focus is on ensuring that our technicians meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,
“Our technicians play a critical role in determining the level of satisfaction which our customers experience with their vehicles,” said Nicholls.
GMSA provides approximately 60 000 hours of regular and extensive training per annum for all service personnel. “We want to ensure that we continuously improve service levels at our dealers. All Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu service centres are equipped with a complete range of equipment and analytical systems to carry out maintenance and repairs,” Nicholls added.
A joint initiative of the Service Division of GMSA and the National Dealer Council, the competition complements the company’s Complete Care programme and aims to promote excellence in customer service, technical expertise, and support GMSA’s technological innovations in vehicle manufacturing.
The top technician takes home a prize of R30 000 and the runners up receive R12 000 and R10 000 respectively. In addition the first and second prize winners jet off to Thailand in November, to attend the international Isuzu 1 Grand Prix.
The five finalists who made it to the last round were: Sujit Munniseker (South Coast Motors), Gawie Engelbrecht (Williams Hunt Port Elizabeth), Hendre Hulscher (Reeds N1 City), Michael Nyakudya (Imperial GM Germiston) and Kieran Vermaak (Edmond Auto).