Batara, Umakoshi are modern ‘Masters’

Edward Batara and Wesley Umakoshi, who have 40 years of combined experience as mechanics on Kaua’i, are the only King Auto Center mechanics, and only a handful in the state, to achieve Master Technician status from officials at DaimlerChrysler.

They are both Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certified mechanics as well, and to list the numbers of awards, certificates, commendations, and documents indicating successful completion of training that the two have achieved over the years, would take several pages in the newspaper.

The King Auto Center mechanics recently received the Master Technician rating from leaders at DaimlerChrysler.

They have been labeled as “exceptional technical service professionals” by achieving the highest certification level from DaimlerChrysler, the Master Technician. Only 5 percent of service professional nationwide achieve this status.

King Auto Center staff members sell and maintain Honda, Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler products, and the mechanics also maintain other brands of vehicles in the busy service department.

Earning Master Technician status reflects years of dedicated effort to complete hundreds of hours of training and achievement of exceptional customer-satisfaction scores, a DaimlerChrysler spokesperson said.

To maintain the elite status of Master Technician, individuals must continue to demonstrate extensive technical knowledge among a vast portfolio of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge products, complete additional courses in their areas of expertise, and maintain ASE certification.

“These service professionals demonstrate the commitment to professionalism and career development we like to see,” said Kevin McCormick, manager of global sales and service communications of the Chrysler Group.

“We want to make sure the customers’ vehicles are fixed right the first time, and they are satisfied. The service technician plays a crucial role in making that happen.”

The practice of servicing automobiles has evolved from years past, he explained. Dealerships are now equipped with cutting-edge information technology and advanced computer equipment, which requires automotive technicians to be more skilled than ever before, he added.

Those who are most successful are highly trained and knowledgeable about the complex internal computer systems in the myriad of cars and trucks they service.

Vehicle maintenance and repair used to be about just knowing what was under the hood.

Today, however, successful automotive technicians must be familiar with automotive basics while staying abreast with the constant evolution of technology that has become an integral part of almost every automotive system.

Furthermore, consumers now have many choices and high service expectations, so providing effective maintenance and repair is crucial to being successful at retaining consumers for future automotive needs, McCormick concluded.


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