Team Amerikhana Wins Audi Twin Cup Competition

By: Jake Akhtar

As a car enthusiast walking into a car dealership representing a high-end brand, the reality is you’ll know more about the cars than the majority of the staff. However, there are at least eight impassioned ambassadors working at Audi dealers here in the United States who have proven they’ll give you a run for your money. Taking the name ‘Team Amerikhana’, they travelled to Münich in July to compete with teams from 25 other countries and won the 19th annual Audi Twin Cup World Final.

Audi Twin Cup was first held in 1996, a venue for top aftersales staff to prove their expertise. The Twin Cup name refers to the focus on teamwork between technicians and service consultants, and it is only open to non-management dealer employees. In 2023 a new chapter began, with Twin Cup now standing for teamwork between sales and aftersales.

In the first two ‘tasks’ in Münich, sales and aftersales were split into teams of four and given a variety of practical and written tests, regrouping for a full team test where they were required to switch roles and guide one another to succeed. Finally, they took part in a 32-question trivia test against other teams, judged not just on knowledge of Audi product, process and history, but also on their ability to work together as a team.

Team Amerikhana first met in Orlando, in early June at the national final. Over 2,500 people took part, 90 of whom were invited to compete in Florida. In the end, the top eight were selected to represent Audi of America. That group met again for an intense training where they focused on improving their teamwork, although the first hurdle turned out to be hundreds of cancelled flights. Their histories with the brand vary greatly, and each brought a different set of skills that ultimately made them much stronger together.

Both technicians, Bill Julian from Audi McKinney and Kevin Lynch from Audi Bridgewater, had previous Twin Cup experience. Their experience was invaluable helping the team prepare. Jeremy Seilheimer of Audi North Scottsdale also worked as technician for over a decade before moving to service consultant. His experience as a technician gave him perspective, experience and knowledge that helped him excel at Twin Cup. The team’s other service consultant, Ken Shupe of Audi Concord, is a lifelong Audi fan having been immersed from a young age, and it helped him build an awareness of Audi’s ecosystem.

With sales added as part of the competition for 2023, the four from sales entered Twin Cup somewhat blindly. Jake Akhtar of Audi Pittsburgh would tell you that each team member was a car enthusiast with an affinity for German engineering. Austin Silvera worked as a technologist at Audi Sugar Land for just over two years when he distinguished himself as the top technologist in the country, proving you don’t need to have a decade of experience to be an Audi expert. That’s not to say experience isn’t important, as Alex Crush of Audi Monterey Bay and Merry Poore of Audi Greenville will tell you. Alex has over a decade of experience with Audi and previously distinguished himself in national walkaround competitions, while Merry proved to be a voice of reason and leadership throughout the competition as the sales team navigated challenges.

It was an incredible feeling for the team to find a venue where their vast knowledge was valued and where they were able to meet other like-minded enthusiasts. While in Münich, the team was treated to a brand experience unlike any other. Driving events with the new Q8 e-Tron models, a preview of the next generation of Audi vehicles and the opportunity to see the grandsphere and skysphere concepts in person were just a few of the highlights. Ultimately, the greatest takeaway was a feeling of achievement and a renewed passion for Audi. Twin Cup is all about being able to work together to overcome challenges, and Team Amerikhana is proof that a small group of passionate Audi family members can accomplish anything when they work together