Volkswagen Group South Africa continued on its road to transformation in the dealer network by expanding the candidate intake of its Dealer Principal Apprentice Programme (DPAP).
The programme was conceptualised five years ago with the aim of developing a talent pool of black dealer principals for the VWSA network. The intention is to foster a true spirit of transformation and black economic empowerment.
The DPAP, which is the first in the automotive industry and has been customised to meet the requirements of VWSA, was launched in 2011.
Haley Botha, Manager of Dealer Development at Volkswagen Group South Africa said: “The programme has grown from five candidates in its first intake, to 17 this year. The selection criteria is very specific, focussing on experience and development potential that will benefit the transformation of the VWSA Dealer network.”
“The programme is structured to provide much broader training exposure, using a blended learning model. It is uniquely designed around key principles of leadership and management within the motor industry,” concluded Botha.
This year’s programme takes the candidates through a two-year development journey that covers subjects such as retail business, finance, leadership and general management. The programme was developed by Optima Training, a global specialist in development and management of learning programmes. Optima Training services also included coaching and mentoring of the candidates.
The success of the DPAP has already proven its worth, with four of the five previous candidates having been promoted to dealer principal positions. This takes the number of black dealer principals in the VWSA dealer network to 17. VWSA has 155 dealerships (Volkswagen – 100, Audi – 41, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – 13 and Dual: Volkswagen and Audi – 1).
Nonkqubela Maliza, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs said: “We are proud to be involved in a programme that is commitment to meaningful and sustainable transformation. As Volkswagen, we want to increase the number of black dealer principals in the dealer network and ensure that they are adequately equipped and prepared for their new challenges.”
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