A little over a year ago, the Avesta Cruising Club stood in shock as they were announced as winners of VISTA 2011. But with registrations for the next VISTA now being accepted, its time for them to defend their title. “We are planning to win again – that’s obvious! Being world champions is great,” says team leader Håkan Eriksson.
In June 2011, Håkan Eriksson, Robert Svensson, Markus Boman and Krister Adeen from Wist Last & Buss in Avesta in Sweden, emerged victorious from the original 3,740 teams – a total of 13,700 contestants – from 75 different countries. “It’s obvious that this team has a great deal of knowledge and skill at their fingertips, but I’m still surprised at how well everything went. After all, there are so many incredibly skilled Volvo people all over the world,” says Håkan Eriksson. Their year as world champions has been special, according to Avesta Cruising Club. In addition to an enormous number of pats on the back, their employer has also rewarded the team. “We were lucky enough to go and watch Formula 1 at Monza. That was a really special experience, a memory for life,” says Krister Adeen.
“The only disadvantage is the sarcastic remarks from customers. ‘You’re the world champions, how can things take so long?’ is a comment I sometimes hear, but I don’t take any notice,” says Håkan Eriksson with a smile.
It is clear that customers are keen to come to a workshop that is the world champion. One of the first things they see when they enter the dealership is a large cup. “Right now, it isn’t here, as we are renovating, but we are really proud of that cup,” says Robert Svensson. The preparations for VISTA 2012-2013 have begun and Avesta Cruising Club has their sights firmly set on defending their title.
“It’s fun to have something to look forward to and to be entrusted with the task of representing a good company. At work, the management team are encouraging us to compete, as the competition is regarded as a great way of enhancing skills. Having the chance to meet other people with the same job and exchange experiences with them is both enjoyable and rewarding,” says Håkan Eriksson.
Robert Svensson adds, “Volvo has created a competition with the aim of adding to people’s learning and training, and that’s incredibly smart. At some level, everyone likes a competition”.
There are no secrets behind a victory in VISTA. Winning simply requires hard work and curiosity, the Avesta team explain.
“You have to read and learn everything new and, at the same time, memorise everything you have already learned. It’s an art. I also think it’s an advantage that we work at a relatively small workshop, because it means that all of us do everything,” says Markus Boman.
Avesta Cruising Club has already started their preparations for the next VISTA and Robert Svensson has just returned after a course on brakes.
“You pay a little more attention in view of what is going to happen shortly. If you don’t keep up with the new things, you have no chance in the competition,” he says.
In one year, it will be time for the final of VISTA 2012-2013. The question is whether it will once again be Avesta Cruising Club – or some other team – that wins.