BRP, the parent company for marine brands Evinrude and SeaDoo, today opened its state-of-the-art technician training facility in the Sydney suburb of Botany.
BRP general manager Asia & Pacific Gregoire Dupont and the Canada-based director of after sales international, Robert Gariup, officially opened the facility which will help train and evaluate about 200 local and international technicians each year.
"For us this is very important because our products are becoming more and more sophisticated," Dupont said.
"If you don't have your dealers trained, it can become a problem. We have more demanding consumers and sophisticated products and the key for us is the make sure all the dealers are trained properly.
"(As well as Australian technicians) we will also be training dealer technicians from New Zealand, Japan, China, all the Asian distribution markets and the Pacific Islands.”
Dupont said BRP had about 400 dealers across the region. With training courses taking place every two years, this equates to 100 local and a further 100 international technicians attending the facility every year.
"This is a good thing for the Australian economy," he said.
The new training facility cost BRP “some hundreds of thousands of dollars”, a company spokesman said. As well as the marine brands, the facility will provide training for technicians working on the company’s innovative Can-Am Spyder motorcycles and quads, which feature high-tech electronics and powerplants.
The concrete and stainless steel facility, which boasts the latest computer-based diagnostic set-ups, features engines, electronics displays, a lecture room and a high end exhaust system. Its design is based on an F1 production facility. A BRP spokesman said it was the most modern training centre developed by any Australian marine company.
Robert Gariup, who is based at BRP’s Quebec, Canada, headquarters, said the opening of BRP's Sydney’s facility fits well with the company's global strategy.
"It's very exciting the see this centre being opened. It's part of the global strategy BRP has to invest in training and invest in development, not only for our employees, but for our dealers and distributors worldwide," he said.
"For us this is very important because it’s also a strategic element to allow us to support the innovative products that we have as well as the growth that we are looking forward to, not only in Asia Pacific, but around the world."
BRP's Riley Tolmay, who was instrumental in the construction and development of the training centre, told Marine Business the state-of-the-art facility would offer dealers professional level accreditation.
"We’ve initiated training standards across our various platforms involving trainees working on a certain number of tasks to complete for a certification. This will train them as a BRP certified mechanic," said Tolmay.
Tolmay said training is completed in a three-day period and every technician from across the company's dealer network must attend, regardless of the level of experience.
Various incentives are offered to dealers to encourage them to send technicians to the training centre.
BRP will also work in partnership with TAFE to bring apprentices through the new facilities.
Gregoire Dupont hopes the image of BRP’s modern Botany premises and high-tech training facilities will help elevate the company's dealer network to a new professional level.
"We always tell our dealers you should always have a clean, modern workshops but I think it's important for us as a manufacturer to lead by example. We want our dealers to know when they come in here that it's inline with the positioning of our company,” said Dupont.
ABOVE: Gregoire Dupont at today's opening.