Local technician crown Hyundai world champion

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A local man has been crowned as the Hyundai world champion following the world skills olympics in Korea last month

Dean Hodge from Torquay, started his apprenticeship at South Devon College, was the first ever UK contestant to win.

The Hyundai World Skill Olympics, which takes place every other year, is designed to improve technicians’ skills through systematic training and by sharing up-to-date information in a uniquely interactive environment.

First held in 1995, the competition has been a much anticipated and celebrated congregation of Hyundai’s expert technicians, who vie for top prizes and honors.

Each year, Hyundai Motor conducts a series of national training programs for its technicians to systematically upgrade and refresh their skills, and ensure they are in tune with the latest technological developments in the automotive industry.

Held at the Hyundai Cheonan Global Learning Center in Korea this week, this year’s iteration drew 117 participants, including 66 entrants (dealer technicians) and 51 observers (dealer staffers) from 51 countries. By region, they hail from North America, Central and South America, Europe and Russia, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

Ahead of and during the main event, the contenders went through a written test (on products and repair procedures) and two rounds of practical tests (first on the engine, electrical and chassis systems and components; the second on multi-systems diagnosis and repair).

“Hyundai Motor is strengthening its future competitiveness by providing quality time to its valued customers, enabled by the industry-best skills of its technicians. For this reason, we have put much weight behind supporting our service professionals and hosted the Hyundai World Skill Olympics since 1995,” said Wonhong Cho, the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Customer Experience Division at Hyundai Motor. “Going forward, Hyundai Motor will continue to assist its service experts to master industry-leading competencies, so that they can offer the best possible service on the front line of satisfying our valued customers.”

The contestants at the final Olympics in Korea have survived through earlier preliminary eliminations at either national or regional level. Its ultimate goal is to enhance technical expertise at Hyundai service dealers around the world, which in turn boosts customer satisfaction and their brand loyalty.

Winner Dean said: “It is a tremendous honor winning this prestigious competition after contending with talented technicians from all over the world.

“I have always felt proud to be a staff member of Hyundai Motor, a truly international company. I will put my knowledge and skills to constantly serving customers better and winning their hearts.”

Two silver medals went to James George (New Zealand) and Ilia Fedulov (Russia), while three bronze medals went to Hsin Chih Lin (Taiwan), Mohamed Aly (Egypt), and Jidhinraj Rajan Rema (Oman). Other winner categories include section winners, excellent skills winners, superior skills winners and winners of the Award for Collaboration. 21 winners in all categories won a total of some US $30,000 in prize money.

As part of the itinerary, all participants took part in a cultural experiencing tour of Korea, visiting key tourist attractions in Seoul. They also visited Hyundai Motorstudio Goyang west of Seoul, one of four Hyundai Motorstudios worldwide that are interactive venues for showcasing the company’s latest vehicles, technologies and history.

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