After nine months of competition in workshop know how, the final of VISTA – Volvo’s worldwide competition for service personnel – has at last reached the final, which will be held in Göteborg on 26 June. Of the original 12,000 entrants, only about 100 competitors in 28 teams will finally compete for the title of ‘World Champions’.
It is 50 years since Volvo started a competition for its service personnel and 30 years since that competition became known as VISTA. This double anniversary is now marked by a competition that is bigger than ever – with the winners entitled to call them ‘World Champions’.
VISTA is a fantastically exciting experience for the competitors,’ says Volvo Trucks CEO Staffan Jufors. ‘To Volvo, it’s a highly comprehensive and important training initiative. According to our calculations, VISTA 2007 represents a training input of 275,000 hours involving most of our service personnel worldwide.
Held in October 2006, the first, theoretical round attracted 11,849 entrants made up of 3,245 teams from 1,010 dealerships in 69 countries. Following the third round in February 2007, the number of teams progressing to the semi-finals was reduced to 160. This number has been further cut to the 28 teams from 24 countries in five parts of the world that will contest the final in Göteborg on 26 June.
The contestants are service personnel – mainly mechanics and parts personnel – from Volvo truck and bus dealerships. The final will take the form of a full day of difficult practical tests in which the ability to cooperate and a knowledge of Impact, the Volvo service and parts information system, will be key factors.
‘VISTA helps to enhance the status of the service trade and enables us to attract the best talents into our workshops at times when competition for labour is tough, especially in markets where we are enjoying strong growth. Customer service is an increasingly important competitive parameter. Ultimately, it improves the quality of our workshops, to the benefit of our customers’, says Staffan Jufors.