Corps of mechanics keep the trucks on the road every day. It is a challenging task and shortage of mechanics is a reality in Japan and overseas. The international competition “UD Trucks Gemba Challenge” is one way of making the mechanics profession more attractive. “We are getting more and more applicants and this is one reason”, says Kouji Maruyama, SVP UD Japan Sales, Ageo
The “UD Trucks Gemba Challenge” is a truly unique event among the Japanese truck manufacturers. The first week of November the World Final was held at UD Trucks headquarters in Ageo, Saitama prefecture with teams participating from all parts of the UD world. The proud winner this year was Team Swire Synergy from Hong Kong.
However, this is not the story about the result of the Gemba Challenge competition itself. This is the story of why, every second year, UD Trucks arranges this service market competition for their mechanics from all over the world.
Transportation is the lifeblood of society
Transportation is the lifeblood of society. Every day thousands of trucks deliver what we need for our daily life. And every day thousands of mechanics in truck customer centers put their professional skills and service at work to support these transportation systems.
By attracting, developing and retaining a pool of qualified and motivated mechanics, the industry can meet the expectations of timely delivery also from society and the public at large.
“Basically every item around us has been in a truck. at least once The mechanics play a vital role in making society work”, says SVP Pierre Jean Verge Salamon, Ageo and SVP Jacques Michel, Singapore, together responsible for sales of UD Trucks outside Japan.
“The theme of this year’s competition is “Celebrating Our Heroes”, to shine a light on our colleagues and their important work”.
Shortage of mechanics…
There is a growing shortage of mechanics in Japan and other countries. In Japan alone, more than 50 % of about 100,000 vehicle maintenance workshops*1 have shortage of some kind. In total there are some 400,000 certified mechanics*2, and since the average age is 44 years*2 it is important to encourage young people to apply to mechanics schools.
There is a similar situation in Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and other UD markets around the world.