Sytner Elite Technician Challenge 2019

Posted: 16th of April 2019 by Lewis Scott


The mobility landscape is evolving rapidly, and with this comes the requirement for technicians to learn new skills. For aspiring young automotive professionals coming through the ranks, it is a fascinating time to be part of the industry. With new components, models and powertrains to explore, coupled with honing ever-important service-oriented skills to explain new technologies to customers, the role of today’s technician is an incredibly exciting one.  

In light of this, Sytner – the UK’s leading motor group, recognises the importance of building and retaining technician expertise and this is reflected in its ethos that strives to nurture talent as a chief priority.

In March, the company hosted the final of its 2019 Elite Technician Competition to recognise and reward outstanding performance across the network of Sytner’s manufacturers. This year, Sytner added a brand new category for apprentices in line with its commitment to creating an inspiring workplace for up and coming technicians -

More than 500 entrants were whittled down to 36 who had just 90 minutes to identify, diagnose and find solutions for a variety of real-world failures in vehicles rigged with exterior, interior and engine faults.

The event bought together leading industry figureheads to watch the talent on display, including attendees from the Institute of the Motoring Industry (IMI), Shell Lubricants, and Pirelli.

They shared their top tips for success for up and coming automotive professionals:

Darren Edwards, CEO, Sytner Group:
“My words of inspiration to up and coming technicians would be to be proud of your profession and commit to being the best at it. Aftermarket is extremely important in the industry. There are around 35 million cars on the road at present, all of which need to be looked after.”


Britt Burnett, GM Marketing and Technical Europe, Shell Lubricants:

“The opportunities to learn new skills and to truly be an integral part of the future of mobility should be taken with both hands. A great technician is a diverse one - from speedy diagnostics skills, to approachable customer service, to staying up to date with the latest industry developments.”



Steve Nash, CEO, The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI):
“Skills, training and education are all vitally important. But so is application. Our industry invests well over £100 million a year on training and development to help people be the best they can be in their respective roles. But, ultimately it is a true meritocracy. You can do incredibly well – with no real limits on your career progression if you are prepared to apply yourself and prove your capabilities.”


Melvin Rogers, Director of Human Relations, Sytner Group:
“My advice to young or aspiring automotive professionals would be to get some great work experience with a local dealer under your belt to help you find out which avenue you want to go down. From technicians, to HR, to IT to finance, there are many routes that offer fantastic career opportunities.”


Jason Sugden, Commercial Director, Pirelli:
“To the technicians of tomorrow: being smart is important and it will do you well with progression, but if you want to make it to the top, you must have passion. It’s all about combining hard work, technical knowledge and people skills.”


Andrew McLeod, Divisional Aftersales Director – Specialist Division, Sytner Group:
“Young professionals should never be afraid to pick up the phone or walk into a dealership and talk to someone about a job. In a time that is dominated by emails – which are of course useful for some purposes – you can’t beat a face to face interaction.”


Emma Spedding, Head of Business, Bradford Audi, Sytner Group:
“My best piece of advice is to never be afraid of hard work. In this industry, you really do get out what you put in. So, develop your expertise and get out there and go for it!”

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