NORCROSS, Ga. - Top Saab master technicians from around the nation put their diagnostic and mechanical skills to the ultimate test in the 1998 Saab Master Technician Challenge, held April 16-17, 1998 in Alpharetta, Ga. Sixteen semi-finalists performed diagnostics and hands-on repairs on specially "bugged" Saab competition cars during the two-day event. Four national champions emerged to go on to the Saab World Competition to be held at Saab's international headquarters in Trollhattan, Sweden, June 8-12. The champions are Donald LaChance, Euro Motorcars, Bethesda, Md.; James M. Larkin, Saab of Greenwich, Greenwich, Conn.; Peter M. Robson, North Shore Saab, Glen Head, N.Y.; and Steven C. Ruff, Morrie's Saab, Minnetonka, Minn.
More than 80 Saab master technicians spent an average of 45 hours taking the qualifying test covering Saab knowledge and repair/service expertise. Those scoring among the top 16 were selected as semi-finalists to compete in the 1998 Saab Master Technician Challenge.
The competition was broken down into eight "stations" that tested the technicians' skill and knowledge in many areas of automotive service. For each station, the technicians were judged on proper repair procedures, use of diagnostic equipment and special tools, and use of service information. "The contest challenged each technician's hands-on skills, diagnostic skills and research abilities," said Randy Risley, Saab technical training manager. "These are the same skills that a top technician uses every day at the Saab dealership. This contest provides an opportunity to identify and recognize these highly skilled Saab master technicians."
Saab Cars USA technical trainers, regional technical representatives, technical service specialists, and district service and parts managers judged the competition, sending the top four national champions to the Saab World Competition in Trollhattan, Sweden in June. The national finalists were given a number of prizes including a Fluke Multimeter, courtesy of Kent Moore Tools, or a Saab watch from Saab Cars USA, Inc. All of the contestants enjoyed a resort weekend with a companion at Lake Lanier Island in Georgia.
1998 SAAB MASTER TECHNICIAN CHALLENGE FINALISTS
(in alphabetical order)
National Champions Saab Dealership Citv. State Donald LaChance Euro Motorcars Bethesda, MD James M. Larkin Saab of Greenwich Greenwich, CT PeterM. Robson North Shore Saab Glen Head, NY Steven C. Ruff Morrie'sSaab Minnetonka, MN National Finalists Saab Dealership City. State Dennis Bennett Saab of Charlotte Charlotte, NC Kevin Green TischerSaab Laurel, MD Jay Howard David O'Neal Saab Raleigh, NC David Lawrence Herb Chambers Saab Boston, MA Nicholas Muti Spreen'sSaab Hackensack, NJ Peter T. Nelson Saab Service of Orange Orange, CT Ernest A. Orban Wallace J. Scott Motors Briarcliff Manor, NY David Plum Reinertsen Motors Denville, NJ Michael H. Porter Saab of Charlotte Charlotte, NC Joseph Sheridan, Jr. Bianco Saab Corte Madera, CA DanielWinterhalter Countryside Saab Maplewood, MN DonaldWollum Euro Motorcars Bethesda, MD