Austria’s Thomas Hochleitner, Martin Stoiber and Stefan Bunderla were crowned champions in Mazda’s 2018 technician tournament, the European MazTech Contest, in the Italian capital yesterday. As Mazda’s winning team from the European region, the trio who hail from dealerships in Kammern and Linz, will represent Mazda Motor Europe at the MazTech World Finals in Japan in spring next year.

A total of 21 teams from 22 European countries took part in yesterday’s contest, which served to showcase the outstanding level of proficiency present across the Mazda dealer network. Each team consisted of two technicians and a coordinator, who had pre-qualified as the winners of the national competitions held to identify the best and most highly motivated technicians in their home markets. They faced a gruelling round of four on-vehicle and two off-vehicle tasks at the European finals at Rome’s Sheraton Parco de’ Medici Hotel. Assisted by Mazda’s excellent on-board diagnosis, the teams rotated between work stations to troubleshoot and repair issues on cars and parts from across the 2018 Mazda MX-5 RF, 2018 Mazda6, Mazda CX-5 and Mazda2 ranges.

In a surprise change to the contest’s parameters, not three but four teams from Europe will be competing in next year’s world finals in Japan. The news was shared during last night’s awards ceremony by Hidehisa Matsuda, General Manager Customer Service Field Operations Dept., who told competitors, “We are delighted to be able to send four European teams to the world finals in Hiroshima this year to compete with the other regional winners. The quality of the skills on display today was simply extraordinary.”

The winning teams were announced by Martijn ten Brink, Mazda Motor Europe’s Vice President Sales & Customer Service, who explained, “The European MazTech Contest is a platform for our technicians and service providers to demonstrate the level of excellence they provide on a daily basis. It’s a celebration of the quality of the people working for Mazda.” He added, “It is in all our interests for Mazda to offer consistently exceptional service levels as a way of sustaining our high customer satisfaction ratings and enhancing dealer and brand advocacy.”

The 2018 MazTech winners in full:

1st place


Thomas Hochleitner

Martin Stoiber

Stefan Bunderla

2nd place


Jens Benedix

Thomas Schraml

Wolfgang Höher

3rd place


Vedran Vrhovski

Roni Krbavčić

Ivica Radman

4th place


Pierluigi Mariani

Tiziano Folchini

Piccioni Mauro