The Technology Conference on Motor Vehicle Maintenance is an event for all mechanics and car repairers, lecturers at relevant vocational schools and students who want to be aware of the latest challenges facing their chosen profession. This year’s event was the 14th iteration of the conference and took place at the Grand Hotel Bernardin in Portorož, Slovenia. It featured theoretical and practical insight into current and future trends for car mechanics, and exciting activities for partners of the participants. The two-day event was attended by over 330 participants and their partners, lecturers and company representatives. Their knowledge of R&D and vehicle production processes, as well as sponsorship funds, made sure that the conference was organized at the highest level.

Program for participants

At registration on Saturday, participants received gift bags and headphones for simultaneous interpretation of lectures from English to Slovenian. The program started with a welcome speech by the longtime moderator of the event, Ms. Saša Petejan, and continued with the opening speeches by Mr Tomaž Stražišar, member of the board of the GMT Group, and Mr Andrej Pečjak, CEO of the Metron Institute and a trailblazer in the field of electric vehicles in Slovenia.

On Saturday morning and early afternoon, the lecturers presented new and special features of automatic transmission systems and their servicing, as well as how to choose the appropriate lubricants for them, of mild hybrid vehicle systems, of EV heating and ventilation systems, of battery safety, as well as innovations in the EV market. In addition, they also shared tips on managing auto repair shops and insurance repair claims. In the afternoon, participants were able to attend practical demonstrations of the topics presented in the morning. In a relaxed atmosphere, they were able to gain detailed insight into new technologies and received many useful tips for facilitating day-to-day work in their workshops.

After a busy day, participants recharged their batteries for the activities ahead with a little bit of fun and music with the Weekend Band. After dinner, we tucked into the official giant cake of the 14th Technology Conference and during music breaks, held two prize games and a draw of attractive prizes contributed by the Gold Sponsors of the event (ZF Aftermarket, Bosch, Wolf) and sponsors of the partner program (Motaquip, Metzger, Valeo and Brembo). Prizes were also contributed by Tourism Desetnica, who organized the day trips, and Grand Hotel Bernardin. 

On Sunday morning, participants, well-rested and eager to learn, retook their seats in the Emerald Congress Hall and listened to the lecturers who provided them with new information about chassis air suspension, the correct adjustment of the under carriage, why smart assistant systems need to be regularly updated and constantly developed, and even about basic but extremely important vehicle components, such as brake fluid. In the last set of lectures, they also learned that despite the ever-faster and noticeable electrification of vehicles, the development of conventional propulsion engines has not slowed down. Instead, developers are always on the lookout for new technologies to make these engines more efficient and environmentally friendly. The last lecture was devoted to the increasingly challenging task of diagnosing vehicle control computers and updating their software according to the PassThru protocol. Just like on Saturday, listeners, full of energy after a delicious lunch, received additional information, advice and tips directly from the lecturers on practical demonstrations that took place in the early afternoon. The 14th Technology Conference ended on Sunday at 4pm in a pleasant environment. The participants, their partners, lecturers, company representatives and organizers agreed to meet again in a year’s time at the

15th Technology Conference in Grand Hotel Bernardin, Portorož, Slovenia

on January 30-31, 2021.

Sponsors and supporters

Partner program

The organizers of the 14th Technology Conference made sure that partners of the participants and lecturers were well taken care of. The chef of the Pečina restaurant at Grand Hotel Bernardin taught them how to make “fusi”, a traditional Istrian dish, which they later sampled in the relaxed atmosphere of the dining hall.

Tour of Piran and a trip to Krkavče

On Saturday afternoon, the partners had the opportunity to discover the secret charms of the Slovenian coast. Only a 15-minute walk away from the congress hall where the theoretical and practical lectures took place, they explored the stunning Tartini Square in Piran, named after Piran’s most famous son, the violin virtuoso and composer Giuseppe Tartini. They didn’t allow the slight rain to dampen their spirits when they climbed the stairs up to the parish church of St. George and they returned to the Grand Hotel Bernardin for a gala dinner and a performance of the Weekend Band.

On Sunday morning, when the participants at the 14. Technology Conference were soaking up new knowledge in theoretical lectures and practical demonstrations, around 50 of their partners had the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of the Slovenian coastal region. 

The excursion, with food tastings and lunch, took them to an authentic Istria village named Krkavče, which lies on top of a hill 191m above sea level. They learned about different plants and sampled the fruits of olive trees and vines. Locals cultivate various fruit trees, among them even pomegranate trees, as well as various medicinal plants and spices. Farmers also breed indigenous Istrian cattle called “Boškarin”. 

The village has a rich history: the first inhabitants were “Histri”, an ancient tribe that gave the region of Istria its name. The Celts and Romans also lived here, and the Slavs settled in the area under Frankish authority. The village rapidly developed when Istria became part of the Venetian Republic. But: the Slovenian language has been spoken by the inhabitants of the village uninterruptedly for the past 500 years! 

After the tour of the village and the food tastings were completed, the partners returned by bus to the Grand Hotel Bernardin where they met up with the participants of the 14th Technology Conference.  

The trips were organized by:

Sponsors of the partner program 

Host of the event and accommodation

Contact person for additional information: Primož Rožnik