NZ Subaru technician wins spot in world competition

NZ Subaru technician wins spot in world competition

Subaru of New Zealand (SNZ) has recently proved its dealer network has one of the best technicians in the Oceania region.

Steve Comber, of Morrell Motors in Taupo, was triumphant in category at the Oceania region qualifying tournament in Sydney, Australia, for Fuji Heavy Industries’ (FHI) Subaru World Technical Competition (SWTC).

He has gained a spot to represent New Zealand at the competition to be held at the FHI Technical Training Centre in Tokyo, Japan, later this year. The SWTC is FHI’s prestigious bi-annual event, featuring technicians from around the world, who have qualified for selection in local competitions.

Each time the SWTC is held, the largest Subaru distributors from around the world, including Japan, USA, China, Russia and Australia, are invited to send their best technician. These countries account for 12 of the 14 available spots at SWTC.

Smaller Subaru distributors are required to compete in a regional competitions in order to secure one of the remaining two spots. This year Subaru of New Zealand selected Steve – a technician with 25 years’ experience – from its dealer network, as its representative, after he achieved the top result in the national qualification exam.

The Oceania regional competition in Sydney, was held over two days and comprised a written exam and seven time-limited practical tests.

Subaru of New Zealand technical service manager Phil Hall, who travelled to Sydney as an advisor for Steve, said the pressure in this environment was intense, but he performed admirably.

“Photographers, Subaru staff and two judges on each test were scrutinising Steve’s every movement. Points were awarded for speed, accuracy and correct procedure as well as the right result,” Phil says.

“This was a daunting arena for Steve to compete in, but he is an outstanding technician and remained focussed throughout. This showed in the result as Steve is now the Oceania champion.”

Steve says the level of competition was very high and he was pleasantly surprised to win.

“It's a great honour to be selected to represent our region and I'm looking forward to giving it my best shot at the Subaru World Technical Competition, where I will pit my skills against the 13 best technicians from around the world.”

Subaru of New Zealand MD Wallis Dumper says this result just reinforces the successful tradition that Kiwi technicians have set on the world motoring stage.

“You need only look at World Rally Championship teams, or Formula One, or Moto GP, to discover top Kiwi technicians are at the helm of some of the great sporting teams in motorsport. I guess closer to home we have V8 Supercar teams, but what we all need to understand is that not only are our drivers some of the best, but the people spinning the spanners are too.”

“Steve is just a sample of the huge pool of talent we have throughout the New Zealand Subaru dealer network making sure the most important people in our business - the customers - are satisfied.