Auto Dealers Group Green Lights Accelerated Education Program

The National Automobile Dealers Association is rolling out a new education program aimed at identifying emerging leaders while also encouraging immediate change.

The National Automobile Dealers Association is beefing up its professional development offerings by launching an accelerated educational program for emerging leaders.

Known as NADA Academy Plus, the program will give accepted students six weeks of courses over a year in a variety of fields, including sales, leadership, and financial management. This condensed approach will see the primary student joined by a different colleague from his or her dealership in each specialty, said Academy Director Allen Phibbs.

The idea is to recognize, train, and elevate up-and-comers while giving dealerships the opportunity to implement change immediately, he said, referring to the rotation as keeping “boots on the ground.” One individual goes through the entire course, while the others spend a week receiving professional development in their area of expertise before heading home to apply lessons learned.

“The specific aim is for the participating dealership, that they see effective change immediately,” Phibbs said. “They’re going to start seeing change sooner, and effect improvement, and sustain that performance sooner rather than later. It’s more of a rapid improvement.”

The concept was the result of feedback from NADA’s board. “They asked for more: What could we do to assist [dealers] to become more nimble in their businesses and to be able to respond and compete and be successful at doing it, not only successful from a financial standpoint, but from a consumer perspective—establishing and retaining those customer relationships,” Phibbs said. “[This] is what they’ve asked for, how do we best take what we do and provide more for our members.”

Because of the board’s request, Phibbs and his team reassessed NADA’s existing programs and created a crash course of sorts. The program, which was announced last week, is now accepting applications for October’s first group class.

Given how recently the program was unveiled, Phibbs said it’s impossible to accurately gauge the level of interest. But he said feedback so far has been very good, and with many dealers busy ramping up for Fourth of July sales, Phibbs predicts plenty of interest by the time October rolls around.

“It’s all about how do they operate an efficient, effective business that the customers enjoy, and that they can retain that customer, creating customers for life,” Phibbs said.


Derrick Perkins

By Derrick Perkins

Derrick Perkins is an associate editor at Associations Now. In his career as a reporter, editor, and photographer, he has covered communities in New England and Virginia as well as the Defense Department. MORE

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