A young Mitsubishi Motors technician who cut his technical teeth in the automotive industry for the South African market, recently became the first Mitsubishi Top 10 Globally Certified Training Instructor in South Africa.
Cedric Page from Boksburg on the Gauteng East Rand returned from Dubai at the end of last year after six weeks of intensive training under the watchful eye of Mitsubishi instructors mainly from the parent company in Japan.
"We are extremely proud of Cedric and what he has achieved in difficult circumstances," says Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA). "Cedric is instrumental in our new e-learning training system. Our dealer network provides distance learning to ensure the training of all our technicians are of a high standard across Southern Africa and are up to date with the latest technology and new developments."
The 34-year-old Cedric is married to Ayla-Joy Page and they have a daughter, Mikayla-Joy, who recently turned 6.
"The nearly two months away from home made it even tougher, but I am very happy with what I managed to achieve," says Cedric. "I wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of Mitsubishi Motors and my family."
Cedric, who left Edenglen High to follow a technical direction in Bedfordview, says the automotive industry offers a great opportunity for people who want to get qualified as technicians.
"I was interested in subjects like technical drawing and welding. Once I completed school, I applied for an apprenticeship with Imperial Training Academy. While I was waiting for confirmation, I worked with my father at Mercury Engineering in Edenvale.
"Once my application was accepted in November 2004, I started working as an apprentice for three years before completing my apprenticeship. In July 2009 I completed my trade test and qualified as a petrol mechanic. I built up some good experience with Japanese cars, especially doing a stint at a multi-franchise from 2011 on multiple brands where I achieved my master technician qualification. In October 2013, I started training technicians on the FAW brand, and from there I was promoted and moved over to Mitsubishi SA in 2016."
Once at Mitsubishi SA under the leadership of Steven Terblans, Cedric was appointed National Training Manager "and I haven't looked back".
The intense training as a Globally Certified Training Instructor took place in Dubai where the technicians on the tough course were trained by technical trainers from Dubai and Japan.
"Technical 'faults' were secretly built into vehicles and we had to diagnose and repair, which was a stern test for our mechanical knowledge of vehicles in the Mitsubishi stable. Only once we had passed the exams, would we be certified as technical trainers for Mitsubishi Motors."
Cedric says he really loves his job as National Technical Trainer for MMSA. "I enjoy it because when the technicians leave the training centre, they have the confidence to attempt something they would not have if it weren't for that level of training."
Cedric works at Mitsubishi Motors South Africa in Edenvale, Johannesburg, and trains technicians from the MMSA dealer network within South Africa and from neighbouring countries.
"The Certified Instructor Course was the biggest challenge in my personal and professional life. Mitsubishi SA invested a lot of time and money in me and I worked hard to not disappoint the company by failing to achieve the certification.
"So, I pushed myself and with the backing of people in our organisation like Pedro Pereira (Managing Director for MMSA and Emerging Brands), Steven Terblans (my current manager at Mitsubishi Motors SA and the National After-sales Manager at MMSA) and the Mitsubishi Team as well as my wife and family, I don't think I would have made it to where I am today."
Cedric says one of his secrets for success is Aaron Kaufman, a master mechanic on the popular TV show Gas Monkey.
"As a technician/mechanic he is not worried to take on any job and really strives to be the best at what he does. I strive to be the same."
Moving forward Cedric would like to build on his training "to better the technical standards of the Mitsubishi Motors SA dealer network".
"We have just launched our E-Learning training system into the dealer network. Due to Covid-19 this is an awesome tool to improve the skill level of our technicians. Distance learning programmes are the new norm for Mitsubishi Motors SA in these challenging times, and I am proud to be part of it."
Asked about his dream for him and his family and occupation, Cedric doesn't hold back: "To be the best possible husband and father to my wife and daughter and provide them with all I can. As far as my job as National Training Manager is concerned, my dream is to make a difference to the people I work with and leave a lasting imprint in their lives.