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Comma salutes the nation’s top auto technicians and declares ‘Independents’ Day’.
Clive Atthowe of Clive Atthowe Tuning in Norwich and John Tinham of J.T. Engineers, Colchester were announced on March 8th as the two surviving finalists of ‘Top Technician 2011’. Both are previous winners of the nation’s most prestigious and coveted award for professional auto technicians. The name of the final winner will be revealed on April 13th at the ‘Top Technician’ awards ceremony at the ‘Workshop 2011’ exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham. The ‘Top Technician’ first place prize fund includes a cash sum of £2,500, a PalmerSport driving experience day at Bedford Autodrome awarded by Comma, and other sponsor awards to a total value of over £10,000.
Organised by the professional trade magazine ‘Aftermarket’ and sponsored by Comma, ‘Top Technician’ is a nationwide competition to recognise and reward excellence in vehicle servicing and maintenance. The knock-out competition is keenly contested by technicians from all sectors of the industry - franchised dealerships, fast-fits and independent workshops alike - and consists of a series of written and practical tests, set and adjudicated by the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) arm of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Following regional semi-finals, the competition ends in a day-long series of tests which are contested by the six leading finalists, and took place this year on Friday, March 4th at the Honda Institute.
Congratulating Mr Atthowe and Mr Tinham on their success, Mike Bewsey, Sales & Marketing Director of Comma Oil said: “I think we should declare April 13th ‘Independents’ Day’, because once again, we have seen two immensely talented technicians from independent workshops show a clean pair of heels to the best that franchised dealers and fast-fits can muster.” Only once in eight years has the competition not been won by an independent workshop technician, Mr Bewsey noted. “We know that the thousands of independent service garages and workshops around the UK not only employ very highly skilled technicians, but offer levels of service combined with value for money which franchised dealers struggle to match. There is not enough consumer awareness – and franchised dealers are certainly not going out of their way to advertise the fact - that, under EU law, motorists are completely free to have their car serviced by an independent workshop without in any way invalidating their vehicle’s warranty. Every year, ‘Top Technician’ underlines why owners can have the confidence to seek out and build a relationship with a good local independent workshop, whatever the make or age of their car.”
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