Volvo offers cash incentives for dealer service technicians

GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 20, 1999) — Volvo Trucks North America has launched an incentive-based, three-tiered training program designed to keep dealer technicians up to speed on Volvo engine technology and its integrated electronic architecture.

The PowerTech Recognition System, introduced to dealer service technicians last month, uses a training concept similar to the testing administered by the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). To sign up, participants complete a personal profile survey and a knowledge assessment test. Depending on test results, each is placed in one of three categories: (I) Certified, (II) Skilled, or (III) Master.

A new test is then administered every two months, and is based on training materials and other product and service information sent out during the 60-day period preceding the test.

While participation in the program is optional, Volvo is betting good money that most of the 2000 service technicians in its network will sign up: participants can earn cash awards based on their test performance scores. The incentive element of the program helps ensure participants thoroughly study the materials and remain committed to the program.

“The new electronic architecture makes it easier for a trained technician to retrieve and analyze data to help ensure accurate diagnosis and repair,” said Riber Gustafson, manager of parts and service education, Volvo Trucks North America. “The key word here is ‘trained.’ Today’s vehicles have moved away from mechanical systems into the world of software-based systems. As a result, technological changes are now happening in a matter of weeks instead of years.”

Volvo’s VE D12C engine is equipped with the new electronics, which are built around the SAE J-1939 and J-1587 datalinks. It enables data to flow between all on-board control units including the engine, vehicle, anti-lock braking system, driver’s-side SRS airbag, transmission, and instrumentation.

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