LUXURY SPECIALISTS – What It Takes To Become A Luxury Brand Technician
Technicians are the doctors of the car world, without them, when problems with your vehicle arise, there would be nowhere to go but the sales team to purchase a new vehicle. In a world where efficiency is highlighted, quality luxury brand technicians are pressed to go the opposite way.
For those of you who haven’t been by the shop yet, we’ve taken the time to fully renovate the space incorporating new floors, new wash and detail bay, service advisors offices and beautiful built in boxes. Among the new, we’ve added and factory trained two luxury brand technicians, Christopher Devantier and myself, Jean-Claude.
Becoming a luxury brand technician isn’t an easy task and many hurdles have to be overcome to become some of the best in the business. From day one, becoming a technician is a regulated trade meaning technicians must be trained. Training in Manitoba happens at Red River College where we have the choice between an 8 month course or an 8 week course. The 8 month course allows technicians the time to develop key skills and fundamentals required to not only perform their jobs with ease but can be a bid to impress teachers or possible employers. After completing the 8 month course through Red River’s Arts and Technology Center, I spent time at Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg for work experience where I was immediately hired for my good work ethic, knowledge and passion for luxury cars.
Four years with M-B Winnipeg went quick. The team there helped me progress more than I could ever imagine in such a short time creating a technician that is not afraid of diagnosis, repair or heavy electrical in a comfortable and friendly environment. We had to part ways, on to different things.
Factory Certified Technicians Jean-Claude (JC) Allard (left) and Chris Devantier (right)
From there I moved to the world of imports for a short time, finding a job instantly due to my experience and expertise. I spent a wonderful 6 months with the team at Murray Hyundai where they taught me the value of having a good team and a good leader, and how to push yourself to be as efficient as you can be. The repairs were entirely different and so was the service process from the minute you booked an appointment to the minute you were out the door. Although the team was wonderful, my passion was in fast, exotic and luxurious cars. I felt I wasn’t being driven to the degree I wanted to be an yet so early in my career. I did not want to be stuck somewhere making a wage. Along came Maserati.
I got word of a Maserati dealership opening down the street from my current job and that same day went home and applied. With many opportunities already knocking at the door, I knew this one would fit my needs perfectly. The interview was nerve-racking as any interview can be, but I was warmly welcomed and the interview went smoothly. I had the choice between a job with money and a job for passion, and I’ve never been happier with my choice.
I graciously accepted their offer and signed a contract to work for the Morris Group of Companies with the understanding I’d be working on high-end vehicles. Renovations were already underway as I moved my toolbox into the shop. The process was slow but eventually we got our dealer codes, required by every dealership.
Once the dealer codes were up the process really began. Alfa Romeo technicians require specific factory training to ensure proper repair and diagnosis of the luxury vehicles. I was kept busy with over a dozen online courses on every facet of diagnosis and repair on the new product. Understandably because of the new entry into the market, Alfa Romeo was a brand that no one had experience with. The technicians were at the forefront of the knowledge behind the product, how it worked and was designed to work. In addition to the online courses, we were sent to multiple in-class courses which included Noise Vibration and Harshness for noise concerns, Communication Systems to learn about the different computers in the vehicle, how they worked and talked to each other as well as the vehicle courses on the Giulia and 4C allowing us an inside look at dismantling these intricate machines. Not only does this training help us acquire knowledge to repair the vehicles, but it allows technicians to build friendships across the country by spending time talking with and going out with the other technicians. It allows us to talk about common repairs, odd problems and when we exchange numbers, allows us the ability to call each other for help. Because of how new the products are, when there are difficult problems there isn’t often a place for us to find accurately tested information.
The Maserati side is a lot more extensive on their training and they insist on many multiple day courses to familiarize selected technicians with the vehicles and repair procedures along with the brands history, image, message and future. Within the first year we learn through 6 courses what made Maserati such an exotic brand, through their formula 1 successes and failures. In what way they would like the service department to operate and to what standard. And basic training on each model, how they are supposed to operate and their technical innovations. Without this training, only basic repair is able to be performed and limited information is made available to us. The benefits to having a properly factory trained technician is endless and a clear must to maintain the high-end quality behind both of our brands.