Identifying the best warrants competition (at times) and it is through competition that standards are pushed to greater heights. This is the basis of the recent Mercedes-Benz SEA II Skills Competition 2018, where customer service professionals from Malaysia and around the region gather to battle it out to be declared the best at their craft within the Mercedes-Benz network.

This year’s event marks the tenth anniversary of the event, which started in 2008 and has been held every two years since. The 2018 edition represents the first time that the Skills Competition welcomed participation from other member countries in the region, with 631 participants signing up in the hopes of qualifying and earning a place in the finals.

The finals saw a total of 25 service professionals compete across five categories representing their respective field of expertise – Qualified Maintenance Technician (QMT), Qualified System Technician (QST), Certified Diagnostic Technician (CDT), Certified Service Advisor (CSA), and Qualified Parts Process Specialist (QPPS).

Joining them are five graduates from the Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programme, where recruits are given the opportunity to work on Mercedes-Benz vehicles as they earn internationally recognised qualifications as well as a career with the three-pointed star.

The finalists came from dealerships and services centres across Peninsular Malaysia, including the Klang Valley, Kuala Terengganu, Georgetown, Seremban and Johor Bahru; neighbouring country Singapore also had a few finalists in place.

Suffice to say, it was a tense situation during the event as the finalists were subjected to a host of challenges featuring theory and practical tests. With trophies, certificates and cash prizes totalling almost RM100,000, there was certainly a need to be ‘the best or nothing’ in front of the qualified judging panel comprising experts and management of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM)

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“The biennial Skills Competition is yet another effort to offer the utmost care and best customer experience – motivating us to strive for constant improvement, both internally and for our customers,” said president and CEO of MBM, Claus Weidner.

“The finalists this year were more competitive than ever, raising the standard of service and technical knowledge in the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia network to new heights. This collaboration with our dealers is part of our long-term strategy to develop talent, technology, production and services as a pioneer and leader in the automotive industry. Congratulations to all winners!” he continued.

“The level of professionalism, passion and knowledge every participant showed at this year’s skills competition demonstrates the level of service that goes into caring for every Mercedes-Benz vehicle we receive In the Skills Competition, we compete among ourselves to further raise our standards and continue offering the best Care for our valued customers and their Mercedes-Benz automobiles,” added vice President of Customer Services at MBM, Heinrich Schromm.