My name is Fareed Rane, I am a currently a 3rd year apprentice technician with Mercedes-Benz Brisbane service centre. I am undertaking my Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanics. I had the great privilege of being awarded a scholarship to travel to the United States, to Newport Beach (California) to experience life in the Mercedes-Benz dealership Fletcher Jones motorcars.
In February 2020, I travelled to Los Angeles where I spent two days visiting and observing work in one of the largest dealerships in the USA. Upon my arrival, I had the pleasure of meeting the dealer Principal, Bob Evans who welcomed me to the dealership and introduced me to a large number of the service technicians. I was then given a tour of the large dealership, including a variety of different new car showrooms, and of course their very well maintained workshop.
On my first day in the workshop, I met with the team leader Eric who has been a service technician at Fletcher Jones for over 20 years. As a result of the dealership servicing around 150 cars per day, team leaders are essential to manage the amount of jobs in a day. Eric is one of five team leaders who looks after around ten other technicians. During the day, he carried out a variety of jobs on many high-end cars, as well as diagnostic work. It was a great experience to see how smoothly everything runs during a typical busy day in the workshop and a lot of this comes down to being up-to-date with the latest technology.
With over 100 service bays in the dealership, it was really eye opening to see that each technician has access to their own telephone and computer per bay. Everything they require is accessed online, which makes it easy for the team leader to distribute the work out to the technicians. A highlight for me was seeing how easy it was to get parts for each job. By sending a simple email, the technician would have the parts delivered to the specified work bay within minutes. I came away learning so much about how such a prestigious workshop runs with ease using all the latest technology.
While staying in LA, I had the opportunity to visit many places including the California Science Centre, the Endeavour Space Shuttle exhibition and Universal Studios. But a great highlight for me was visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum, home to over 300 very rare and unique cars. This is definitely the place to go for car enthusiasts!
I also had the opportunity to extend my trip in the US, which gave me the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco where I gained a greater understanding about the American culture and what it has to offer.
I am very appreciative of this once in a lifetime chance to travel and observe such a prestigious dealership in California. Fletcher Jones dealership welcomed me with open arms and I’m so grateful to them for allowing me to learn with them. It was a very well rounded trip and I would like to thank all those involved in making it such a memorable one.