After several years, I found myself waking up at the early hours of the morning. Armed with no more than a (single) handful of hours of sleep. I grabbed my red bull and took a cab down to MyCarForum’s first car clinic session held at the Bosch Headquarters together with Sonax.
It was alarming to see a small number of enthusiastic forum members, including the legendary Radx (left), arriving at the venue earlier than most others.
Post registration, the members were free to mingle around the reception area. With no digital interface to hide behind, the 30-odd participants were unmasked and for some, it was the first time they saw the members in person.
The only means of identification were the white labels with their names matched to their MCF user ids. Old pals rekindled while new friendships were made. The pre-event segment also provided an occasional opportunity to mix with the MCF team that were present.
Concurrently the carpark area had a small gathering, and was bustling with activity. MCF stickers were being applied on several cars.
Spotting brand new designs, the stickers were available in three colours of white, silver and yellow - and once again white seemed to be the crowd favourites this year.
After light breakfast, it was time for a group picture. In the age of iPhones and selfies, it was refreshing to see someone with a DSLR taking a proper picture.
Subsequently the members were gathered at a meeting room where Country Manager, Ken Lee officially kick started the event with a short introduction of Bosch. He went through the brief history of the company, several products Bosch has pioneered in the automotive industry and the position of the German titan within the local automotive industry.
For example, I learnt that Borneo Motors and Kah Motors utilise Bosch batteries for their cars – including Toyota, Lexus and Honda. And little did I know Bosch were one of the key firms to establish cutting edge technologies including start-stop systems, energy recovery systems or even lighting technology, among others.
Ken was candid and was keen to answer any questions that were thrown at him. He handled the crowd well, and in a clever manner, evaded certain questions. Let alone his position, his product knowledge was inspiring.
Once the introduction was over, the group was split to three groups. A mini-ice breaking session was held by the group leaders where everyone introduced themselves. An added aspect of the ice breaking session saw members drawing questions from envelopes and answering them faithfully as possible. The questions range from asking your favourite F1 team to the number of points you scored for your driving test.
Then it was the start of the Bosch car clinic - comprising a station for brake pads, batteries and wipers respectively. The product specialists from Bosch were present to give a simple but concise explanation of the products. The explanations were easy to understand and the product knowledge the specialists possessed were remarkable.
They answered any and every question patiently, intelligently and with in-depth knowledge. And most importantly with a smile.
After a short tea break, the event resumed with the second half of the car clinic - Sonax.The clinic was led by Davin who went in detail and demonstrated the key issues when handling car maintenance. He demonstrated various Sonax products including car shampoo, leather treatment products, car wax and car sealant.
Making its debut at the event was the brand new, Sonax XTREME Protect + shine Hybrid Net Protection Technology sealant. While already on sale in overseas markets, the DIY sealant – as advertised by Davin – offers a wax free high gloss coat for your car at probably a fraction of price to conventional paint protectors.
The XTREME Protect+Shine covers your cars paintwork with a glossy protective coating for protection that is touted to last every quarter along with enhancing the bodyworks colour that is mildly better than showroom condition. As demonstrated by Davin, the results were almost immediate and impressed the members.
The application is easy and almost effortless, with no pre-treatment or drying times. Of course this being Singapore, many questions were raised on its effectiveness against bird droppings – and lets just say the best way to treat bird droppings is to address the issue as soon as possible!
The event concluded mid-day with scrumptious food catered by Bosch and a sales of retail items from Bosch and Sonax. After catching up with their forum friends, the members started to head home, after collecting their goodie bag which had, among others, spark plugs and wipers that were custom to their vehicle.
Throughout the event, the members were candid. None complained, none made faces or a fuss and everyone had a ball of a time and were sporty for anything the organisers were willing to throw at them.
At the end of the day, as the organiser started packing up, the question on most members’ lips was, “When is the next event?”