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GP Strategies Launches Innovative Automotive Retail Academy for Development of Dealership Professionals

COLUMBIA, Md., June 28, 2021 — Global workforce transformation solutions provider, GP Strategies, a veteran in automotive retail operations since 1966, introduces the Automotive Retail Academy (ARA)—a modern leadership development program designed for dealership professionals. The ARA was created to respond to massive disruptions in the automotive marketplace, as well as to address the need for modern leadership skill sets. This comprehensive program offers job-specific virtual training designed to give dealers a clear path to sustained profitability and ARA graduates will be primed to help build the agile, successful dealerships of the future. Coming from a top-tier custom automotive training provider with decades of deep industry expertise, the approach is both groundbreaking and welcome in the industry.

The first offering to launch in the Automotive Retail Academy is the General Manager Course, a six-month program of specific, relevant leadership concepts and practical, strategic, and tactical application including:

  • Using financial, customer, and employee data to make sound business decisions
  • Creating a modern buying and ownership experience for digital-first consumers
  • Optimizing sales from the BDC and internet teams to showroom, finance and insurance, and delivery practices
  • Mastering fixed operations, from production efficiency to facility utilization
  • Building a brand using digital marketing best practices, OEM and agency resources
  • Leveraging technologies to bolster efficiency and cybersecurity
  • Becoming a true leader, fostering high-performing teams and a top-rated employer culture

The General Manager course is designed to address the needs of experienced general managers grappling with new ways of operating, new managers who want to invest in their future success, and managers aspiring to the general manager role. Graduates will be positioned to:

  • Improve net profit
  • Win the war for talent
  • Foster a modern leader mindset
  • Future-proof the dealership

Later this year ARA will grow to include GP’s 1:1 Digital Selling program, a series of workshops for sales consultants that is designed to teach high-performance techniques to those serving online automotive shoppers. Additional courses are scheduled to be released in 2022, including certifications for department managers, key frontline roles, and more. The ARA will deliver rigorous coursework focused on operations and leadership for several critical positions within the dealership.

“GP Strategies is proud to offer the all-digital ARA, right when the industry needs it most. The ability to learn remotely—without needing to travel—and immediately apply that new knowledge inside the dealership is perfectly suited to the modern learner, as dealership professionals and customers alike increasingly rely on their digital devices to find information and run their worlds,” says Cathy Palochko, Senior Vice President and Global Automotive Industry Lead.

In the virtual environment, students collaborate in real time with their classmates and interact and learn with a faculty of experienced automotive experts. This supportive network of peers and experts is a long-term benefit of ARA enrollment.

“Every detail has been carefully crafted to create an experience that is ruthlessly relevant, compelling, personalized, and interactive. At a time when automakers and dealers urgently need transformation to meet changing market demands and evolving business models, ARA equips leaders to support top performance in the workplace. We believe this is the strongest learning solution on the market today for retail leaders,” says Palochko.

About GP Strategies

GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE: GPX) is a global workforce transformation provider of organizational and technical performance solutions. GP Strategies' solutions improve the effectiveness of organizations by delivering innovative and superior training, consulting, and business improvement services customized to meet the specific needs of its clients. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, automotive, financial services, technology, aerospace and defense industries, and other commercial and government customers. Additional information can be found at gpstrategies.com.

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