The Lumileds and Philips Automotive Lighting-supported UK Top Technician and Top Garage Awards scheme for 2020/21 reached its climax this week and the winners were announced at a gala industry awards dinner.
From the hundreds of British garages and technicians who applied to enter the annual competition, which promotes best practice in the garage and workshop sector, 40 garage finalists and five technicians made their way to ‘In Town Automotive’ in Northampton to be assessed by the panel of expert judges.
Each garage was given the opportunity to present their businesses and was then interviewed across a variety of business-related topics.
Lumileds’ own Richard Armstrong was one of the judging panel for the Top Garage Awards – looking for the special ingredients that would mark out the best of the best among this year’s crop of UK garage businesses, in four different sizes.
In the one to three staff category, CM Automotive of Bristol took the honours while in the four to six employees winners were Fergies German Vehicle Specialists; Hillclimb Garage of High Wycombe scooped the seven to nine staff category and Jackson & Philips took the award for garages with 10 or more employees.
In the Top Technician final, each technician faced five tough 50-minute practical tasks, which involved diagnosing and solving a variety of problems on cars that ranged from conventional ICE-engined vehicles, through PHEVs to fully electric powered machines.
Philips workshop lights were made available for use during the tasks, to help ensuring that the technicians had the opportunity of optimum lighting at every stage of their work.
At the end of this process Kevin Toms, from FRL Autoservices in Devon, emerged as the 2020/21 Technician of the Year.
He was presented with his award and a raft of prizes, part of which is a full range of Philips workshop lights, which includes the new designs that will be introduced in 2022. Lumileds also provided Philips workshop lights to each of the five Top Technician finalists and also to the Top Garage winners and finalists.
Philips Automotive product ambassador, Andy Savva – the Garage Inspector – gave the keynote address at the beginning of the awards dinner and he was later joined on stage by Lumileds’ Richard Armstrong to give the Lifetime Achievement Award – for which Lumileds and Philips were the presenting partner – to retiring IAAF president, Wendy Williamson.
“It was a pleasure to be able to honour Wendy, for all she has achieved, on an evening where we celebrate the best that the Automotive Industry in general and the independent garage sector in particular, has to offer.” commented Lumileds UK and Ireland country manager, Richard Armstrong.
“It is all about quality of both service and product and we fully support the great work and commitment to excellence that these awards embody. Our congratulations go to all of those who won and made the finals, but we are all mindful that drive towards best practice is unending, so we salute everyone who entered and hope that it will be your turn, in the future.”