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New Zealand Kia Technician Excels in Australia

May, 2014

New Zealand Kia Technician Excels in Australia

A New Zealander has emerged as the top Kia Motors service technician in Australasia after winning the inaugural Australia-New Zealand Skill Cup Competition.

Josh Seabourne, who is a senior technician with the Tauranga Kia dealership, Tauranga Motor Company, has taken out the contest that is being held bi-annually to determine the best Kia service technician in New Zealand and Australia. The only New Zealander in the competition, after winning the local round of the competition, Josh battled five Australian contestants over an intensive one-day competition that not only tested their practical skills, but also their mechanical and auto-electrical knowledge.

“The pressure was on the whole time and I was really surprised when I found out that I’d won – it was a great feeling,” says Josh, who has been with the Tauranga Motor Company Kia service department for two-and-a-half years.

The competition, held at the technical training facilities in the Kia Motors regional headquarters at Homebush in Sydney, consisted of a written theoretical exam, followed by six separate practical assessments involving electrical board exercises, engine mechanical and then diagnosing body electrical, automatic transmission and engine management faults.

“I felt quite good about the theory, having done plenty of revision and the electrical board tasks went well, but one of the engines we were working on is not one I was familiar with, as it isn’t available in New Zealand, so that tested me. And we weren’t given enough time for the engine strip-down because it is important to follow the correct procedures.”

In front of one New Zealand judge and two from Australia, the six technicians were scored on process, work flow and outcomes with 100 points allotted for each assessment. Josh, who trained as an automotive technician in his home town of Matamata, emerged the winner and was presented with his trophy at an awards ceremony by Kia New Zealand and Kia Australia President and CEO Mr S H Cho.

When he returned to Tauranga, Josh was treated to another celebration with his colleagues at the dealership, with Service Manager Fergus Edgar saying: “Josh is our star – it didn’t surprise me that he won in Australia after seeing the amount of detail he put into the New Zealand qualification exam.”

The win pleased Kia Motors New Zealand Technical Trainer Nick Robinson, too, who says the level of skill among service technicians within the Kia Dealer network is increasing due to the high technical training standards implemented by Kia Motors Corporation. Kia Motors NZ was recently judged to have one of the best aftersales service among Kia distributors worldwide in 2013.

Nick, who accompanied Josh to the Sydney event where he was part of the judging panel, remarked afterwards: “we were well accommodated by our Australian counterparts. It was good to see the effort all contestants put into the competition.”

Josh will now represent New Zealand at the Skill World Cup Competition to be held in Seoul-Korea later this year, where he will go head to head against the top Kia technicians from around the world.


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