Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) took the first steps towards the realisation of its transformation vision with the graduation of five candidates from the pilot Dealer Principal Apprentice Programme (DPAP).
DPAP was conceptualised four years ago with the aim of developing a talent pool of black dealer principals for the Volkswagen Group South Africa network as well as to foster true and fair spirit of transformation. The programme is the first in the automotive industry and has been customised to meet the requirements of VWSA.
The candidates completed a 30-month long programme that covered 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.
Haley Botha, Manager: Dealer Development said: “The benchmarking and research that we conducted helped us to put together a comprehensive programme that resembled a mini-MBA. We decided from the outset that our programme should provide much broader training exposure which most of our current dealer principals have never had the privilege of.”
Three of the five candidates have already been promoted to dealer principal positions. This takes the number of black dealer principals in the Volkswagen Group South Africa dealer network to 17. Volkswagen Group South Africa has 165 dealerships (Volkswagen – 106; Audi – 44 and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – 15).
Nonkqubela Maliza, Director: Corporate and Government Affairs said: “The programme was borne out of Volkswagen Group South Africa’s commitment to a 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.”
One of the candidates, Marcia Mayaba – a dealer principal at Volkswagen Lindsay Saker Alberton – was bestowed with the Dealer of the Year award in 2013 by the Lindsay Saker Group. Xolani Mkhwanazi and Ashley Gengiah are dealer principals at Volkswagen McCarthy Constantia and Audi Vereeniging respectively.