Twenty teams from Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Estonia, Poland and Slovenia, meet up in Madrid last Wednesday, for the Central East VISTA semi final. After a full day of competition, two Hungarian teams, Pevijola and Polgár1, qualified for the world final.
Despite the Spanish weather not being as quite a warm as many hoped, spirits remained high during the fourth day of competition in Madrid, with another semi final successfully completed.
“The teams are very happy to be here because they don’t have many chances to take part in this kind of competition, or to travel,” says Karmen Zohar, who works as an aftermarket coordinator in Slovenia. “This is not only a competition – it’s also a way to meet people and see places around the world.”
This year, there are three Slovenian teams in the semi final. “Last time we only had one Slovenian team – they’ve improved a lot.”
Once again, teams diligently progressed through the workstations, each with their own unique work methods from their respective markets. “We use different ways to repair trucks in our workshop, so we find it difficult,” say Slalvonci, a team from Croatia. “We’re learning how to use Impact, diagnosis, and guide work. We work by intuition but in the future this will change – we will use more diagnosis.”
“We knew how to do it because we’re used to solving this problem,” say Polgár1, after completing one of the workstations. “In other station we didn’t answer all questions because some were new for us. But we can also use new tools that we don’t have in our workshop.”
For many teams, it’s the 30-minute time limit that makes the competition so stressful. “This is our everyday work and we have to get it correctly from the first time and sometimes it’s difficult”, say Mañana, a team from Estonia. “But not only we have to check that we are doing it correctly, also we have to be aware of the time.”
Nevertheless, once the competition ends, all teams can relax and embrace the whole experience. “I first took part in VISTA in 2003 when I was a participant,” says Giedrius Jokubauskas, who has come over from Lithuania to work as a VISTA staff member. “It was amazing. It’s good for the relations of the people in the workshops.”