MIDLAND, MI – Northwood University, the leading center of higher learning focused on the automotive retail sector, and AutoTrader.com, the ultimate automotive marketplace with 3 million vehicle listings, have partnered together to create the Northwood/AutoTrader.com Online Automotive Marketing Certification, a certificate designed to provide students with dealership-ready skills in improving the effectiveness of dealerships’ online advertising and merchandising.
“Northwood takes great pride in our many partnership programs with corporations such as AutoTrader.com as they provide our students access to the very organizations where they may be employed upon graduation,” said Dr. Keith A. Pretty, president and CEO, Northwood University. “By blending real-world experience with traditional academic offerings such as textbook case studies, our graduates leave Northwood exceptionally well-prepared for tomorrow’s careers in the automotive industry.”
The Northwood University/AutoTrader.com Online Automotive Marketing Certification introduces students to the critical function of online advertising for today’s dealers and focuses on important tactics-from merchandising inventory to measuring results-that drive consumer traffic to the dealer showroom.
“This provides tomorrow’s automotive professionals with the critical hands-on training they need for marketing in the Internet era,” said AutoTrader.com CEO and President Chip Perry. “AutoTrader.com is proud to partner with Northwood University to make this possible.”
Seventeen students, all majoring in automotive retail management at Northwood University’s Midland, Michigan, Campus, completed the pilot in December of 2009. These students learned how to manage back-end advertising systems and develop turn policies for online inventory. The students also went off-site to a local dealership to apply the marketing and merchandising techniques learned in the classroom to create their own dealership and vehicle listings.
“By combining hands-on training with theoretical understanding, this certificate ensures participants are ready for the challenges involved in online automotive marketing they face both today and tomorrow,” said Joe Lescota, Northwood University Automotive Retail Management Chair on the Michigan Campus. “Additionally, this certificate can benefit not only full-time undergraduates currently enrolled at Northwood University but also seasoned automotive professionals looking to further their education.”
Students are scheduled for spring of 2010 at the Midland, Michigan, Campus of Northwood University. The Northwood/AutoTrader.com Online Automotive Marketing Certification will also be extended to Northwood’s other two campuses in West Palm Beach, FL, and Cedar Hill, TX, later in the calendar year. Northwood University and AutoTrader.com are also exploring further ways to expand their reach by partnering with other organizations to offer the Northwood/AutoTrader.com Online Automotive Marketing Certification to a wider array of continuing education students.
“Our strong partnership with AutoTrader.com on this project will not only benefit Northwood University students but will also serve as a standard for online advertising, merchandising and sales certification,” noted Dr. Timothy G. Nash, vice president for strategic and corporate alliances for Northwood University.
About Northwood University
Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills and personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.
Private, nonprofit and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers full-time, evening and industry specific master’s degree programs for entrepreneurs and executives in Michigan, Texas and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise on the Midland, Michigan, Campus specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through terms abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. Northwood University also operates the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Maine.
AutoTrader.com, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the Internet’s leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private owners. The site attracts about 15 million unique monthly visitors. Through innovative merchandising functionality such as multiple photos, videos, detailed descriptions and comprehensive research and compare tools, AutoTrader.com unites new and used car buyers and sellers online to improving the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.