• Annual Suzuki Skills Awards competition included 450 contestants from across the UK. 
  • Steve Freeman represented Quay Auto Centre at the finals.
  • Prize giving ceremony included Apprentice of the Year presentations for the first time.
  • Rewards included a PalmerSport driving day at the Bedford Autodrome, and an Apple iPad Mini tablet for the overall category winners.

Suzuki GB (PLC) has announced the winners of this year’s Skills Awards at a recent gala dinner and the annual event is the culmination of a contest which is part of the vehicle manufacturer’s distance learning programme. The initiative has been designed to enhance the skills of individuals within the dealer network, thereby ensuring that work is of the best quality, and that Suzuki customers nationwide always receive the best standard of service.

Over 450 contestants took part, which saw them compete for the titles of Aftersales Manager of the Year, Aftersales Advisor of the Year and Technician of the Year. The top prizes, which were presented by Nobuo Suyama, Suzuki GB’s Managing Director, and Denis Houston, Director of Aftersales, were won respectively by Graham Chambers of Philip Peterson Ltd in Bangor (Northern Ireland), Dani Murray of St Peters in Worcester and Michael Cooley of Hodgson Suzuki in Newcastle.

Steve Freeman (pictured on the far right) attended representing Quay Auto Centre in the Technician of the Year catagory. This was not Steve's first time attending the finals, infact he has made Quay Auto Centre proud by successfully qualifying to attend them 5 times before. Although,  he has only been able to attend on four of the five occasions. 

The individuals successfully answered a set of demanding questions and projects throughout the four month elimination rounds. Amongst the highest scoring candidates from each region of the UK, they then undertook a series of gruelling tests on the day of the prize giving which saw them emerge triumphant. All finalists in each of the categories were rewarded with a PalmerSport driving experience at the Bedford Autodrome, whilst the three winners also received a 32 Gigabyte Apple iPad Mini tablet.

Included for the first time at the ceremony was the Apprentice of the Year category, the results of the nomination by trainers of Automobile Service Technician and Parts / Customer Service Advisor apprentices in their first and second years. For the third year apprentices a series of tasks were undertaken at the training centre in Doncaster to determine the winners. The Tim Crewdson Award was equally bestowed to Elliot Harris of Pebley Beach Ltd in Swindon, the apprentice that had demonstrated an outstanding improvement during the last 12 months.

Denis Houston, Director of Aftersales, Suzuki GB PLC, added: “We would like to congratulate all of the winners on a well-deserved achievement and thank them for their exceptional dedication and hard work which they have demonstrated over the past few months. They are excellent ambassadors for the brand and great role models for their colleagues going forward.”

Quay Auto Centre has a strong history of success in the Suzuki Skills Awards, previously known as the Suzuki Guild Competition. In addition to Steve's five invites to the finals his colleague Phil Pedrick has also represented Quay Auto Centre in the Technician of the Year catagory at the Suzuki Guild finals an impressive five times. It is not just the technicians who have excelled with the Suzuki Guild competition, Mike Trembath qualified to go to the Sales Person of the Year finals twice during the short time Car Sales were included in the competition. Quay Auto Centre is now looking forward to the next time one or more of the team can compete in the Suzuki Skills Awards competition with hopefully more success in 2016!

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