Sautomotive marketing and management course goals and objectives – semester transition 2010 am 1320 Role and Function of the American Automobile Dealership 3 credits



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sAUTOMOTIVE MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT

COURSE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES – SEMESTER TRANSITION 2010


AM 1320 Role and Function of the American Automobile Dealership 3 credits

An introductory course for students in automotive marketing & management. Studies the role and function of the automobile dealership by examining several key factors including the relationship between the manufacturers and their dealers, possible career paths within the automotive industry, finding the right location, and facilities planning. Cash flow planning, vehicle floor planning, and marketing topics will be discussed.


By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the vocabulary used by practitioners within the automotive industry.

  2. Gain an appreciation for the many career paths available within this industry.

  3. Discuss both the formal and informal relationship between the manufacturers and their dealers.

  4. Understand the role and purpose of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

  5. Discuss the importance of maintaining high ethical standards.

  6. Discuss the differences between franchise and non-franchise automobile dealers and the opportunities available in each.

  7. Understand the importance of vehicle floor planning to the success of the dealership.

  8. Understand how dealership locations are determined and how facilities are organized.

  9. Discuss the importance of establishing a strong brand identity within the market served.

  10. Understand the territorial constraints of a franchise dealership when competing with same brand dealers.

  11. Understand the vital need to maintain strong cash flow and cash management practices.



AM 2520 Independent Dealership Operations 3 credits

Focuses on the non-franchise independent automobile dealer. These dealers are essential to the long-term survival of the American automobile industry. The disposition of used vehicles is necessary to accommodate the sale of new vehicles and these dealers have unique requirements that make them important organizations to study. Among the issues that this class will consider are the role of sales and salespeople, advertising, marketing, auctions, reconditioning of vehicles for resale, wholesalers, vehicle pricing, financing - including sub-prime and dealer financing, and lot location and display.



Prerequisites: AM 1320

By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:



  1. Understand how training and personal evaluation effect the sales process.

  2. Understand the effect of compensation plans on sales results.

  3. Know the selling process in its entirety.

  4. Be familiar with the selling tools of advertising and sales promotion.

  5. Understand the importance of inventory control, both in dollars and in units.

  6. Know the decisions that must be made in the reconditioning process.

  7. Understand how to participate in wholesale activities through auctions and individual wholesalers.

  8. Be able to determine the location of the used car lot and understand the display and lighting of the lot.

  9. Understand used vehicle pricing strategies.

  10. Understand the role of “buy-here-pay-here” lots and sub-prime financing options in the used vehicle sales market.



AM 2540 Current Issues in Dealership Technology 3 credits

A study of the current trends in technology available to dealers including computer systems to retain and utilize financial and customer data including service history; business development centers to create a stronger bond with customers and prospects; computer software to develop strong advertising campaigns using the Internet and other electronic media; and customer relationship management tools to maximize customer retention and to develop directed prospecting systems. This course will also look at virtual dealership models and virtual selling techniques.



Prerequisites: 30 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Review the various pieces of technology available to automobile dealerships.

  2. Compare and contrast each as to how best they can be utilized within a dealership environment.

  3. Understand how each piece of technology can be utilized in each department of the dealership.

  4. Understand the importance of using technology in order to make good business decisions within the dealership.

  5. Understand what a Business Development Center (BDC) is within the dealership and how it can enhance sales and customer loyalty.

  6. Be able to interface the dealership technology with the Internet and Website applications of the dealer, the manufacturer, and third party sources to enhance the dealership sales activity.


AM 2560 Strategic Sales and Marketing Issues 3 credits

Automobile dealers must develop a successful market strategy for their dealership to differentiate themselves from their competitors. This course will discuss the differences between sales and marketing, the functions of a successful marketing campaign, creating and sustaining a brand identity, creating value for the customer, the differences between conquest sales and fresh sales, and a discussion of the various buyer profiles.



Prerequisite: 30 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the distinctions between sales and marketing and when each is used.

  2. Understand how to create and sustain a brand identity.

  3. Be able to create consumer value in your organizations and your products.

  4. Be able to differentiate your dealership and your products from competitors.

  5. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of conquest sales.

  6. Understand consumer profiles and how they shape marketing strategy.

  7. Be able to develop a marketing strategy and create a marketing campaign form that strategy.

  8. Be able to create customer loyalty through marketing and sales efforts.



AM 2640 Dealership Variable Operations 3 credits

Study of the vital role successful new and used vehicle departments play in the profitability of American franchise automobile dealerships. Topics covered include selection and motivation of employees, directing the sales staffs, evaluating advertising media basics, sales promotion, facilities planning, inventory control, maximizing inventory turn methods, wholesaling practices, trade-in appraising, vehicle reconditioning for retail sales, and the role of auctions in maintaining proper inventory balance. This course will also utilize the ERA computer system.



Prerequisite: AM 1320
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand how personnel decisions affect the sales department’s performance.

  2. Understand how training and personal evaluation effect the sales process.

  3. Understand the effect of compensation plans on sales results.

  4. Understand how to prospect for sales leads effectively.

  5. Know the selling process in its entirety.

  6. Be familiar with the selling tools of advertising and sales promotion.

  7. Understand the importance of inventory control, both in dollars and in units.

  8. Know the decisions that must be made in the reconditioning process.

  9. Understand how to participate in wholesale activities through auctions and individual wholesalers.

  10. Be able to determine the location of the used car lot and understand the display and lighting of the lot.

  11. Understand how to integrate the used car function with new car merchandising and the finance and insurance activity.

  12. Understand the role of appraising in overall success of both new and used vehicle sales operations.

  13. Understand used vehicle pricing strategies.

  14. Understand the role of “buy-here-pay-here” lots and sub-prime financing options in the used vehicle sales market.



AM 2650 Dealership Fixed Operations 3 credits

Study of the management of the mechanical service department, the body shop department, and the parts department of American franchised automobile dealers. This class will emphasize repair order generation and control, shop utilization, scheduling of work, employee selection and motivation, technician productivity and efficiency, body shop estimating techniques, and dealing with insurance companies. This course will also emphasize the relationship between the parts and service departments, retail counter sales, wholesale parts sales, inventory ordering and turn, stock and non-stock parts numbers, level of service, stock order performance, and part phase-in/phase-out criteria. This course will utilize the ERA computer system.



Prerequisites: AM 1320
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the importance of effective human resource policies and procedures to the operation of the parts and service departments of the automobile dealership.

  2. Understand and be able to create, control, and improve customer satisfaction.

  3. Be able to determine methods of assessing shop efficiency and productivity.

  4. Understand basic scheduling and loading techniques for setting shop appointments.

  5. Understand common job assignment methods including dispatching, lateral support systems, and team shops.

  6. Understand the importance of job estimating in the Body Shop.

  7. Understand the nature of the relationship between the body shop, the insurance companies and parts suppliers.

  8. Be able to utilize the computer to accurately control parts inventory.

  9. Understand the principles of merchandising wholesale and retail parts.

  10. Be able to implement effective parts department security.

  11. Be able to provide an effective plan of retail and wholesale counter management.

  12. Understand stocking methods as well as phase-in and phase-out criteria for stocking part numbers.

  13. Be able to understand and utilize level of performance and stock order performance criteria in order to maintain proper parts inventory stocking levels.

  14. Understand the importance of good parts inventory turn, the role of emergency purchases and the importance of tracking lost sales.


AM 3020 International Summer University 3 credits

The International Summer University (ISU) is a two week, international marketing program sponsored by the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Wolfsburg, Germany. While the general emphasis is on marketing, it does focus on automotive applications. Students attending this conference will be assigned case studies in marketing issues and team assignments designed to demonstrate their capability in analytical problem solving. The course includes visits to several organizations and a formal presentation of the final project on the City of Wolfsburg to the Lord Mayor of Wolfsburg in the City Council chambers.



Prerequisites: 60 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the culture of Germany and the cultural differences between Germany and the United States.

  2. Be able to participate in a multi-cultural team environment to successfully complete a case assignment.

  3. Be able to apply basic marketing principles to an international setting.

  4. Be able to apply analytical skills and capabilities to individual and team problem-solving situations.

  5. Be able to effectively communicate with students from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds in order to accomplish a specific team assignment.

  6. Be able to present findings in a formal manner to high level executives.

  7. Understand the symbiotic relationship that exists between business and the community, especially the one that exists between Volkswagen and the city of Wolfsburg.



AM 3040 Global Automotive Issues 3 credits

An examination of the critical decision making process manufacturers go through when allocating resources for new product launches while looking for the best return on their investment. American manufacturers are researching developing markets where a large, new customer base has yet to be established. This means more new products will go to the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) rather than the United States. Market strategies of the major global manufacturers and their potential in those markets will be analyzed. Each market will be analyzed while concentrating on the advantages and disadvantages from a manufacturing and consumer point of view.



Prerequisite: 60 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the dynamics of the various automotive markets throughout the world.

  2. Understand the interrelationship of different markets and how they affect the American market.

  3. Discuss the strategies of the various global manufacturers as they relate to both developed and developing markets throughout the world.

  4. Understand the distribution system of each market and how they relate to the needs of manufacturers and consumers.

  5. Discuss the trends in developing market and their potential for growth.


AM 3630 Dealership Accounting (3 credits)

Focuses on the application of the basic accounting principles to the retail automobile dealership. Transactions are traced from the source documents through the accounting records into the financial statements. Students will prepare and analyze all standard dealership operating and reporting documents. Included in the course will be exposure to computerized accounting through the use of an ERA computer system.



Prerequisites: ACC 2415
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

1. Be completely familiar with the accounting function of the automobile dealership.

2. Have learned the accounting procedures necessary to trace transactions through the dealership accounting records.

3. Understand the normal transactions that occur in an automobile dealership and account for them from the source document to the operating statements.

4. Be able to prepare all necessary supporting documents to the financial statement.

5. Have practiced making entries in all journals including purchase, internal sales, cash receipts, payroll, as examples, as well as standard entries at the end of the month.

6. Be able to prepare a trial balance and operating statement.

AM 3650 Dealership Legal Issues/Finance and Insurance 3 credits

A review of the many federal, state, and local regulatory agencies and laws dealerships must respond to including the Internal Revenue Service, state and local Departments of Revenue, Federal Trade Commission, Fair Labor Standards Act, Truth in Advertising, Truth in Lending, OSHA, EPA, and other agencies. Also includes an in-depth study of the dealership finance and insurance departments, with special emphasis on products offered in these departments and the profit potential.



Prerequisites: 60 credit hours completed

By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:



  1. Understand the legal environment that modern automobile dealerships operate in.

  2. Review and understand the various governmental agencies, laws and regulatory issues that affect the operation and success of a modern automobile dealership.

  3. Understand consumer behavior as it applies to the need of consumers to seek legal and governmental remedies for issues related to automobile sales and service, including warranty provisions.

  4. Understand the benefits and profitability of the insurance products.

  5. Understand the sources of income available to franchised dealers who help customers finance their automotive purchases.

  6. Understand both the long term and short term dealership profit opportunities to be made by properly meeting customer needs.

  7. Understand the contractual obligations among the dealership, the customer and the lending institution.

  8. Understand proper methods of dealing with lending institutions on loan approval for customers.

  9. Be able to maximize the sales and profits of “aftermarket” products to customers.

  10. Understand the elements of selling the complete finance package to the customer including extended service contracts.

  11. Understand the requirements of a professional finance and insurance professional by preparing for and sitting for the AFIPS (Association of Finance and Insurance professionals) certification examination.



AM 3680 Advanced Dealership Fixed Operations 3 credits

A comprehensive analysis of successful fixed operations management and its contribution to the viability and profit performance of the entire dealership. This is achieved by examining the processes and economics of the mechanical service, body shop, and parts departments of American franchised dealerships as both traditional stand alone departments and also as a unified business unit. The investigation of operational and financial considerations underlying essential concepts includes: repair order generation, technician and shop efficiency and productivity, scheduling, body shop estimating techniques, parts inventory strategies, part phase-in/out criteria, and level of service. Special attention is given to advanced issues intended to build competitive advantage for the entire dealership in the current business environment, such as adoption of lean production techniques, sources and uses of working capital, and strategies to retain/regain market share relative to aftermarket competitors. This course includes an ERA computer Lab section.



Prerequisite: AM 2650

By the end of the course, Northwood wants students to:



  1. Understand the importance of people to the achievement of organizational objectives; be able to determine personnel needs, then develop and implement a plan to hire, train and retain qualified personnel.

  2. Recognize the differences between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty; be able to design and implement initiatives to advance both, then measure and evaluate organizational performance.

  3. Understand essential operational concepts, such as shop efficiency and productivity, parts inventory turnover, part number phase-in/phase-out, etc.); be able to measure actual performance, then design and implement plans for improvement

  4. Understand the interdependence of dealership departments; recognize and resolve points of conflict; and, implement practices that enhance performance across the organization.

  5. Understand the economics of fixed operations management; be able to measure and evaluate key financial indicators; and, be able to design and implement corrective actions as required.

  6. Understand the relationship between fixed operations and overall dealership performance, including: breakeven point, cash flow, and customer.

  7. Recognize the nature value of relationships with third parties (vendors, insurance companies, manufacturers, regulatory agencies, etc.) and be able to manage those relationships for maximum benefit.

  8. Be familiar with the uses of data management systems; be able to retrieve and evaluate information to identify out-of-line conditions and monitor corrective actions.

  9. Be able to identify and assess drivers of competitive advantage in the marketplace, then design initiatives to improve performance.



AM 3850 Special Topics 1-3 credits

Various topics in automotive marketing and management. These may be one-time or occasional course offerings.



Prerequisite: Dependent on specific course content


AM 3980 Retail Automotive Operations Management 3 credits

A focus on workflow within the retail/wholesale value chain to achieve maximum product exposure. Students will be challenged by an extensive case study requiring skills related to all value chain components. This is a highly intense class with limited enrollment.



AM 3990 Internship 3 credits

The internship (400 hours of paid employment) is designed to provide the student with supervised on-the-job training. A contract between the college, student, and employer provides the groundwork. Objectives, evaluations, written log, and a study of the organization are designed to provide a realistic learning experience.



Prerequisites: 30 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand how a retail franchise automobile dealership is organized and the interrelationship between the different departments.

  2. Be familiar with at least two departments of the organization in terms of how each is organized, how communication takes place, the purpose of the department, and the strengths and weaknesses of each department.

  3. Be able to see firsthand the work flow of various departments within the dealership or organization.

  4. Be able to understand and appreciate the activities of each department studied from a customer’s perspective.

  5. Understand the nature and importance of working in a supervised environment.

  6. Understand the importance of having good policies and procedures within an organization.

  7. Understand the significance of the personnel function of an organization.

  8. Be able to relate the academic knowledge to an actual job function within an organization.

  9. Understand the importance of keeping a log of daily work activity.


AM 3995 Directed Study 3 credits

A focus on the uniqueness and diversity of American franchise automobile dealerships in a major metropolitan market. The student will gain an understanding of dealership design, management and operation, customer relations, inventory control, and other dealership activities through visitation and observation of dealerships in operation, and by talking directly to dealers and managers at various dealerships. The class will visit a minimum of six dealerships during the semester. Attention will be given to comparing and contrasting different dynamics of dealership operation such as size (large versus small), brand (import versus domestic), and age (older versus newer). The student will be required to select one dealership for an in-depth case study.



Prerequisite: 60 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the entrepreneurial nature of American franchise dealers.

  2. See dealerships in operation and observe how they respond to different decision-making situations.

  3. Understand both the similarities and differences of how dealers operate.

  4. Be able to differentiate management styles of profit center managers at various dealerships.

  5. Understand the architectural differences between dealerships and between brands.

  6. Understand the manufacturer’s influence within their dealer body in terms of merchandising, facilities, promotion, and management.


AM 4020 Dealership Valuation, Dealer Development, Successorship Issues

3 credits

A discussion regarding the important topics of determining the value of a business, specifically an automobile dealership, transferring ownership of that business through buy-sell agreements and the role that the manufacturers play in keeping dealerships from failing. Discusses how manufacturers have a vested interest in seeing their franchise dealerships succeed. Likewise, they are very protective of who owns and manages these dealerships. For these reasons, the manufacturers have instituted programs aimed at helping dealerships remain profitable and have incorporated into the language of the franchise agreement the right to approve successors to existing dealer principals.



Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the various methods of valuing franchised and non-franchised automobile dealerships.

  2. Understand the legal and contractual relationship that exists between dealers and their manufacturers.

  3. Understand the vital role that manufacturers play in promoting and protecting their dealer body.

  4. Define and discuss successors and their role in transferring ownership of a dealership.

  5. Discuss the particular legal, financial and emotional issues involved in transferring ownership of a dealership from one family member to another family member.

  6. Discuss the legal ramifications to both the manufacturer and the dealer in buying and/or selling a franchise automobile dealership.



AM 4100 Independent Research Topics 3 credits

Requires selecting a specific, researchable area of interest as the project. Potential topics include: personnel issues, the heavy duty truck sector, publicly owned dealerships, global marketing strategies, or other areas as approved by the department chair. Students must have an approved abstract outlining the nature and topic of the research prior to beginning. The research project and methodology must be approved by the department chair.



Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Define a specific area of research to pursue in depth.

  2. Understand more fully an area of concern to the student.

  3. Create greater depth of knowledge concerning a particular topic.

  4. Specialize in a topic area of specific interest to the student.

  5. Add to the existing body of knowledge in an area of interest.

  6. Research a topic that has not been fully covered elsewhere within the automotive retail management curriculum.


AM 4650 Dealership Financial Statement Analysis 3 credits

Discusses the importance of employing sound business and financial practices in the operation of a profitable automobile dealership. This class will discuss topics such as sound credit practices, insurance requirements, inventory control, wholesale and retail financing practices, and budgeting and forecasting techniques. This class will concentrate on studying in-depth the dealership financial statement, examining it by use of established ratios and percentages and other analytical tools, in order to make sound business decisions.



Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Understand the vocabulary of the business management department.

  2. Understand the necessity of controlling the assets of the corporation and how to do so.

  3. Be able to create proper expense controls and policies of credit extension.

  4. Understand wholesale and retail financing as well as other methods of corporate financing.

  5. Be aware of insurance terminology as well as the importance of proper insurance coverage for the protection of the corporation.

  6. Be able to do basic financial statement analysis and operating trend analysis.

  7. Know NADA ratios as well as other sources of financial ratios and guides.

  8. Have had experience in forecasting future operating standards and establishing objectives.

  9. Understand how a financial statement is constructed, account by account, and the differences between the statements of various manufacturers.

  10. Be able to identify both strengths and weaknesses of a dealership through proper financial analysis.

  11. Be able to enact appropriate remedies to dealership deficiencies based on sound financial analysis.



AM 4651 Dealership Accounting & Financial Statement Analysis 3 credits

This course explores ways and means of mining a dealership’s data management systems (DMS) to improve operational performance. Study begins by tracing the entry of individual transactions from source documents through the dealership’s accounting records and into the resulting management reports and financial statements. Students will prepare and analyze standard dealership operating and reporting documents with emphasis on financial statement analysis as a management tool. This course is offered in conjunction with a required lab section.



Prerequisites: ACC 2410 and AM 3680
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

  1. Be familiar with the accounting function of the automobile dealership.

  2. Understand the normal transactions that occur in an automobile dealership and account for them from the source document to the operating statements.

  3. Have practiced making entries in all journals including purchase, internal sales, cash receipts, payroll, as examples, as well as standard entries at the end of the month.

  4. Understand the vocabulary of the dealership accounting and business management.

  5. Understand the necessity of controlling the assets of the corporation and how to do so.

  6. Identify effective proper expense controls and policies of credit extension.

  7. Identify NADA (and similar) financial ratios and operating guides.

  8. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a dealership through evaluation of its financial statements.

  9. Evaluate and select remedies to dealership deficiencies based on sound financial analysis.


AM 4660 Dealership Management for International Students 3 credits

Designed as a capstone course for international students studying the American franchise automobile dealership. The focus will be on studying current trends and developments, doing research in relevant topics and individual and team case studies. In addition, experts from outside the classroom will be brought in to discuss important topics of current concern. Students will also be encouraged to visit dealerships located near the campus to observe their operations.

Prerequisite: Take 90 Credits and international students
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:


  1. Understand the various management systems used at American automobile dealerships, including computerized dealership management systems (DMS).

  2. Discuss relevant topics to the current American automotive environment, their impact both nationally and globally.

  3. Research pertinent topics of value to the international student and relevant to their course of study.

  4. Understand through case studies special topics or issues within the automotive industry.

  5. Understand how American dealerships operate by visiting several franchise dealership locations or by having dealer principals or other automotive experts discuss their organizations in class.

AM 4670 Dealership General Management 3 credits

A capstone course for automotive marketing & management which includes a study of current retail marketing and management enterprises, inventory control, personnel management, customer care, and financial controls, as well as a review of the function and management of each of the five basic dealership departments. This course will utilize the ERA computer system to evaluate critical dealership operational and financial performance.



Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed
By the end of this course, Northwood wants students to:

1. Gather and interpret dealership operational and financial performance data from various industry sources.

2. Evaluate critical dealership operational and financial performance data using CRM and Web applications.

4. Interpret key operational and financial data for each dealership department.

5. Evaluate current key operational and financial performance data compared to national and like-make benchmarks.

6. Apply critical evaluation and prioritization techniques to select and solve dealership operational and financial performance problems.



7. Understand cross-departmental operating relationships with an emphasis on their operational and financial impacts.

8. Use critical thinking to explain the importance of data quality as well as resources and processes required to maintain data integrity and legal compliance.

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