Hodge (centre) with other winners of subsidiary categories.
SEOUL: Briton Dean Hodge is the world's best mechanic — at least in the eyes of Hyundai.
Hodge emerged as the champion at the 2019 Hyundai World Skill Olympics held here last week.
The contest pitted the company’s top automotive service experts from around the world for intense skills competition.
“It is a tremendous honour winning this prestigious competition after contending with talented technicians from all over the world,” said Hodge, the single gold medalist at the event. “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).
The biennial Hyundai World Skill Olympics 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 last 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 had gone 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).