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Results of the 5th Yamaha World Technician GP 2012

October 31, 2012

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. recently held the 5th "Yamaha World Technician GP 2012" over the two days of October 23 (Tue.) and 24 (Wed.). This contest brought together 28 Yamaha motorcycle service people (dealership mechanics) from 20 countries who qualified by winning national and regional competitions to compete with the best Yamaha technicians in the world at the Communication Plaza (corporate exhibition facility) located at Yamaha Motor headquarters in Japan.

This contest is part of the unique Yamaha Technical Academy (YTA) program launched by Yamaha Motor in 2000 with the aim of providing Yamaha customers worldwide with the same high level of technical service and to foster the spirit of "One-to-One Service" that strengthens the customer relationship. With the important goal of providing quality service that builds customer satisfaction, service mechanics from Yamaha dealerships around the world train under the YTA program and compete in local and regional contests designed to improve their service skills and heighten their sense of pride as part of the global Yamaha Motor group. The winners of those contests then travel to Japan and compete in the Yamaha World Technician GP to decide the No. 1 Yamaha technician in the world.

For this fifth holding, the World Technician GP continued the two-category system of the previous contest, where contestants competed either in the "Sports Model Class" or "Commuter/Business Model Class." The contest was designed to judge the contestants' skills in the areas of "proper service knowledge and skills," "providing service that communicates the appeal of the products" and "providing friendly customer service." To evaluate and judge these skills, the contestants were tested in (1) motorcycle repair knowledge and theory, (2) troubleshooting and repair on actual motorcycles and (3) skills for dealing with customers, and the winners were decided on the basis of cumulative points in the three test areas.

When the contest was over, the winner in the Sport Model Class was Mr. Thorsten Brand of Germany, with Mr. Mark William Sagers of the U.S.A. 2nd and Mr. Damien Vincent of France and Mr. Eric John Romanowicz of the U.S.A. tied for 3rd.
In the Commuter/Business Model Class, the competition winner was Mr. Le Truong Qui Tu of Vietnam, with Mr. Sukrisna Beni Istiawan of Indonesia 2nd and Mr. Huynh Ngoc Hoanh of Vietnam and Mr. Fernando Guglielmucci of Argentina in 3rd place.


The 28 contestants from 20 countries pose with YMC President and CEO Hiroyuki Yanagi

Yamaha World Technician GP 2012 Outline

In order for as many people and Yamaha Motor employees as possible to watch the intense competition between mechanics who work daily on the front line serving Yamaha customers around the world, the contest was held this time at the Communication Plaza of YMC's corporate headquarters. In light of the increasing number of fuel-injected Yamaha models being introduced in markets like the ASEAN region, China and India, fuel injection technology was one of the focuses of this year's contest.
On the first day of competition (Oct. 23), the contestants took (1) a written exam of vital motorcycle service knowledge (50 min.), and on the second day (Oct. 24), they were tested in (2) practical skills by performing a periodic inspection and diagnosis/repair of a malfunctioning fuel injection system (40 min./55 min.) and finally (3) a test of customer reception/handling skills (within 20 min.). The winners and 2nd and 3rd place finishers were then decided on the basis of cumulative points in the three test areas.

  Written Test
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In addition to testing vital technical and product knowledge, the exam also included questions about customer trends and the motorcycle industry in general.

  Practical Skills
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Contestants perform proper periodic inspection and replacement of worn parts (40 min.) and conduct troubleshooting on a motorcycle that won't start and repair it so the engine starts (55 min.).

  Customer Handling
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Given the situation of a customer coming to pick up a motorcycle after a periodic inspection, the contestants are tested in their skills in explaining things like the importance of periodic inspections and the characteristics of fuel injection systems and how they function to the customer. The contestants had to perform everything coolly in front of the judges and a large number of spectators.

Sport Model Class Winner Comments

Winner: Thorsten Brand (Germany)
"I am very honored to be standing here [as a winner]. There was a lot of pressure in getting this far. I had a month to prepare for this contest. During that time I read the service manuals and had two special training sessions at Yamaha Motor Germany, but I think my strong determination and desire to win lead to this result. The owner of the shop where I work is quite old now and I think I will be taking over the business from him eventually, so I want to use this experience in our business. Oh, and when I get home, I am going to report to our local newspaper that I won the contest!"


2nd Place: Mark William Sagers (U.S.A.)
"I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity I have been given. It was difficult competing in a new environment and with tools I am not used to using. On top of that I wasn't feeling well, but the hardest part of all was the pressure and not knowing what kinds of tests were coming. I was very nervous, but now I am very happy to have won 2nd place among such a group of highly skilled mechanics. Having been named 2nd in the world like this will be helpful in differentiating our dealership from others, and I think our customers will be happy about this."


3rd Place: Damien Vincent (France)
"It has given me a boost of confidence knowing that I have finished in the top three among this outstanding group of mechanics from around the world. This will surely help me in my work and enable me to serve our customers with confidence. I think the reason for this success is that in addition to the preparations I did through my daily work, I also studied the previous World Technician GP test subjects in preparation for our French national contest in April. The test itself, the troubleshooting and the customer service are things I do all the time, so they weren't really difficult, but competing in front of so many people is something that I am not used to and that special environment was difficult for me."


3rd Place: Eric John Romanowicz (U.S.A.)
"In addition to my daily work, I practiced for this contest using the YTA Silver and Gold certification materials, and now I am very proud to have finished 3rd in the world so I can go back and show this result to the other people who competed in our national contest back in the U.S. Over these past few days I was so nervous that I had trouble sleeping and spent most of the night in bed staring up at the ceiling. So, when the practical test sessions were over and I was cleaning up the tools, I felt tremendously relieved. I hope to use this experience to please my customers."


Commuter/Business Model Class Winner Comments

Winner: Le Truong Qui Tu (Vietnam)
"I can't believe I won, I'm very happy! My daily work keeps me so busy that I didn't have time to prepare as much as I wanted for this contest, but at home in the evenings, I re-read the service manuals and at work I tried to have contact with as many customers as possible. I guess that is what helped me get this result. I always try to keep the ideal of 窶楼ne-to-One Service' in mind, but I found it difficult to put it in practice in front of the judges and so many spectators. When I get back to Vietnam, I want to share this joy with my parents and my partner. I'll also tell our customers about it too, so it can help set our shop apart from the rest."


2nd Place: Sukrisna Beni Istiawan (Indonesia)
"I am proud to have been able to win 2nd place. I knew that withstanding the mental pressure would be a big part of the contest, so I prepared myself to be able to handle anything by dealing with as many customers as possible. When it came time for the Customer Handling test I tried to keep relaxed and not get nervous. In the practical skills part, the tools and work environment were completely different from what I am used to and that brought some uncertainty, but the most difficult thing to get used to was the cold weather here in Japan. If it were about 30°C like it is in Indonesia at this time of year, I might have done better (laughs). The Indonesian qualifiers for the next Yamaha World Technician GP will be held in December and I plan to talk to the other contestants about my experience here to help them prepare for the next World Technician GP."


3rd Place: Fernando Guglielmucci (Argentina)
"I want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to compete here. It was also an opportunity for me to re-discover the importance of Kando. I am very proud to have finished 3rd, on behalf of myself and also my shop and Yamaha Motor Argentina. I work for three shops in Argentina so I am always busy during the week, but I spent two hours every morning at home before work to practice for this competition. My brother also came to help me in the practice. On the weekends I re-read the service manuals and studied the YTA Bronze and Silver certification subject matter. Preparing for this competition gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my work. I re-learned a lot of things I want to apply to my work now."


3rd Place: Huynh Ngoc Hoanh (Vietnam)
"I am very happy to have finished 3rd in this once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the World Technician GP. It was very difficult with all the studying I had to do to be chosen as a representative of Vietnam and come to this world contest. I'm sure everyone who comes to a world contest wants to win. In order to win, I re-read the service manuals and customer service manual and made a point of working on as many machines and dealing with as many customers as possible in my job. When I return to Vietnam, I will tell our young mechanics at the shop about this Technician GP that brought mechanics from all around the world to compete so it will help and encourage them in their careers as well."


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