David Weston, Master Technician at Snows Kia Guildford has won the title of world champion after winning gold in the 2021 Kia EV Skill World Cup.

​David, pictured on the left at the Kia Academy in Nottingham, competed against technicians from 15 other nations in two days of intensive online testing by the Osan Training Center in Seoul, South Korea. He qualified for the World Cup after winning gold in the Kia UK Skill Cup in February 2020.

David spent two days in Nottingham talking live with a Kia team in Korea. He had to teach them how to diagnose a car that was sat on the other side of the world, along with a lot more tests.​ The self-confessed motor ‘junkie’ even clocked up 120 hours of Korean language study in his spare time to help with his presentation skills.

The biennial World Cup is usually held in Seoul. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to this year’s final taking place via video link.

David said: “The competition comprised of a Powerpoint presentation, a multiple choice test and then a detailed diagnostic test, all carried out remotely via live link with judges and vehicles more than 5,400 miles away. The set up at the Osan Training Center in Seoul was incredibly professional, with a team of around 30 technicians, interpreters and judges working with us over the two days. In Nottingham it was just as impressive, with my own team, a live link and laptop.

I get a real buzz out of the practical tests, which usually involves locating seemingly impossible to trace faults. But it wasn’t without its hitches; during my live diagnostic test the connection just died and my timer was stopped whilst they fixed it. When we came back online there were just four minutes left on the timer and I diagnosed the third and final problem just as they announced ‘time’s up!""

David joined Snows Motor Group in 2015, after 18 years with the same independent garage where he trained as an apprentice.

He continued: “It was a shame not to be able to go to Korea for the World Cup, but I started learning the language during furlough and am still having daily online lessons. A couple of times during the tests I greeted the judges and said goodbye and have a nice day in Korean, which they seemed to appreciate.

I felt pretty confident throughout the competition because I had put in so much hard work. Even so, during the final ceremony when they announced the bronze and then silver winners to fanfares and drum rolls, I knew I had either won the whole thing or completely blown it.

When Artur Martins, Kia’s senior vice president of the global brand, announced I was world champion I just threw my arms in the air. I’m still on cloud nine. It’s going to take a while to get over all the excitement.”

As world champion, David received a trophy and $3,000 US dollars. He will also defend his title – hopefully in Seoul – in 2023.

Neil Mccue, Snows’ chief operating officer, said: “David’s craftmanship, attention to detail and utter commitment to his job is already well known at Snows and now the whole Kia global service community has recognised it too.

To have learned Korean to improve his communication with his testers shows just how far he is willing to go to develop his craft. I have watched the video of the awards ceremony and it was so exciting to watch. To see David’s ecstatic reaction was priceless.”

Published: 09/07/2021