The myth of "Factory Trained Technicians"
Updated: Jan 21, 2022
If you deal with garages or dealerships from time to time, at least, I bet you heard this phrase "Factory Trained Technicians." Since I've spent nearly ten years in the main dealership's environment during my career, I've heard and seen this phrase a lot. Mostly in the context of marketing. Dealership promises its customers that all the work in the shop is done by "factory trained technicians ."Who - supposedly - are the best of all sorts of technicians.
Well, factories build cars and trucks, but they don't train technicians for the dealer network. I have attended many training courses while working at the dealer's, but the closest thing I've been to the factory was the Renault Technocentre R&D facility in Paris. For the lack of other training facilities in Ireland, Nissan sent some technicians for Safety training in Paris. So they will be ready to work safely and won't electrocute themselves working with coming up back then Nissan Leaf. It was only about safety precautions when working on battery and high-voltage circuits, that's all. But hey, it was an excellent chance to travel to Paris for free!
Mostly though, training at the dealership is a combination of online training modules followed up with a training course (1 - 4 days) at the class in one of the major cities. To be honest, these courses are a hell of a waste of time. A well-written and illustrated booklet on a subject could provide all the information you get out of that course - and you can read it in 1 - 2 hours. I've gained more practical knowledge from just reading 'System Operation Description" chapters in the OEM shop service manuals. A dealership pays for my time attending the course and covers travel expenses, so I have no complaints other than it is way too easy, boring, and makes me want to sleep in that class. Training sucks in summer, though, when the weather outside is so good, but you have to spend all day in the room with no windows lit by fluorescent bulbs, ugh!
So we can say that technicians at the dealer get trained following OEM standards and guidelines for service technicians. But they are certainly not trained at the "factory."
This is not the issue, though, just a matter of terminology. The actual issue is that only some technicians at the shop get OEM training. Sometimes, only one, and sometimes - maybe none. Or none of those who work today. I've been working in that kind of dealership and have seen it with my own eyes. Therefore, "factory trained technicians" is mostly nothing but false marketing. No wonder now why so many people complain about the quality of workmanship after attending the dealer service department. As imperfect as existing OEM training is, the majority of employed technicians aren't even getting that training.
But this doesn't stop you from paying the top dollar for dealer service, does it?