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Posted on December 07, 2013

General Motors recently invited the best technicians from dealerships in the Middle East to the Dubai Autodrome to put their skills to the test at the 2013 Dealer Technician Skills Competition, the largest event of its kind run by General Motors globally.

Mr. Unnikrishnan Udhayakumar Tharayil from Mannai Auto Group in Qatar won this year’s award as General Motors’ best dealer technician in the Middle East. “These two days have been exceptionally tough and I am very proud to win this year’s competition. This is one of the biggest events in my life. I want to thank everyone at Mannai for this opportunity,” competition winner Mr. Tharayil said.

He was presented with a special trophy by Maurice Williams, President and Managing Director of General Motors Middle East, at a special Gala Dinner that concluded the two-day finals. “The Dealer Technician Skills Competition is a key event for General Motors Middle East as we look to ensure that we have the best-of-the-best dealer technicians serving our customers,” said Williams.

Mr. Mohammed Helmy, Group General Manager, Mannai Automotive, said: “On behalf of the entire Mannai Auto family, we congratulate Unnikrishnan for bringing this great honor to Qatar and demonstrating the high level of excellence that is delivered to every customer in Qatar. I would also like to thank General Motors Middle East for hosting these competitions every year that truly highlight the problem-solving capabilities of our staff and also contribute to the development of skills across the dealer network.”

The competition is part of General Motors Middle East’s commitment to deliver best customer service and help improve the technical skills, expertise and knowledge of its dealer technicians. This year’s contest is the fifth since it first began in the region in 2008. Some 2,000 dealer technicians from across the General Motors dealer network in the region, including Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC dealerships, entered the 2013 competition and after two initial rounds that tested their knowledge, 40 headed to Dubai for the two-day event.

In the presence of 45 judges, the contestants were tasked with diagnosing, repairing and correcting systems on Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles that were purposely fitted with faults. The technicians were judged on their skill in Expert Product Knowledge, Technical Knowledge and their ability to fix it correctly the first time.

Training is a major focus for General Motors Middle East, which boasts two state-of-the-art training centers in Dubai, and Angat, in the Philippines, as well as 36 training facilities across 17 dealerships across the Middle East. The training centers provide around 2,000 training days a year. In total, some 50,000 courses were run through instructor and web-based training courses, as well as virtual classroom training in 2012. Manny Suriel, Regional Service Manager thanked all the dealer technicians who battled it out at the 2013 Middle East Dealer Technician Skills Competition. While there were 10 winners, all 40 competitors are Fix-It-Right-The-First-Time heroes, he said.