At the global finals of this year’s ŠKODA Challenge, 191 finalists from 32 countries competed against each other in the Croatian port city of Šibenik to determine the best employees in ŠKODA’s international sales and service network. From 27 to 30 June, the participants of the competition solved a variety of challenging tasks. The finalists had to prove their dedication to customer service as well as demonstrate technical knowledge and skills. In addition to team spirit, essential criteria in awarding the prize included knowledge of the Czech carmaker’s brand values and history.
This year ŠKODA once again invited all partners in its worldwide dealer network to participate in the ŠKODA Challenge. For the ninth time, participants were given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge about ŠKODA AUTO and see how they measure up to their international colleagues.
The company aims to continually improve the quality of service throughout the dealer network because optimal advice and professionally tailored support form the basis for ŠKODA customers’ above-average satisfaction and brand loyalty.
One hundred ninety-one specialists from 32 countries qualified for the final of the ŠKODA Challenge after taking part in two preliminary rounds held in all participating markets. The employees in the dealer network have outstanding technical skills and put the brand’s values into practice when dealing with customers. They address ŠKODA drivers’ concerns individually, are available as competent contact persons and develop tailor-made ‘Simply Clever’ solutions for their customers.
Every year, ŠKODA sets different priorities for each Challenge. This time, participants had to answer various questions on brand values, company history and future plans, as well as ŠKODA technologies and products. Also, they had to demonstrate their practical skills and their team spirit, brand identification and dedication to customer satisfaction by performing numerous tasks head-to-head.
In the final, the participants went up against each other in eight categories for the best service advisor, best service technician, best diagnostic technician, best paint technician, best parts manager, best importer representative, best sales consultant and the best sales manager. Groups were also pitted against each other in the separate team-rating category. On the way to victory, the professionals had to master challenging theoretical and practical tasks in their field. Their knowledge of crucial processes, as well as skills in the areas of colour perception and vehicle diagnosis or detecting defects, were tested. Beforehand, the organisational team had prepared 17 ŠKODA vehicles for the event.
On the final day, the world’s best in their field stood on the podium and celebrated not only the victory alongside their colleagues but also the all-round success of the event in Croatia. The table below gives an overview of the winners of each category:
Best service advisor: Ondřej Ondrejka (Czech Republic)
Best service technician: Łukasz Zielasko (Poland)
Best diagnostic technician: René Hellemann (Denmark)
Best paint technician: Branislav Zágora (Slovakia)
Best parts manager: Darragh Smith (Ireland)
Best importer representative: Roman Stuchlík (Czech Republic)
Best sales consultant: László Szerencsi (Hungary)
Best sales manager: Markus Wolf (Austria)
Special award - Best Team: Poland
The ŠKODA Design department supported the design of the trophies for the top three finishers in each category, which were produced at the renowned Prague glass and lighting art firm Šípek & Špalek. The trophies are hand-blown glass with a round opal.