A first-of-its-kind master's of business administration program for dealer executives is in response to increased demand for advanced degrees specifically tailored to retail dealership operations, say the educational institutions spearheading the program.
The new academic offering marks the first dealership executive MBA in the world. It is offered by Northwood University in Midland, MI, through its DeVos Graduate School of Management and in conjunction with the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals.
AFIP Executive Director David Robertson says the DeVos graduate school was the only venue the association considered for its involvement in the graduate-level executive education initiative.
The program will serve in-store executives employed by auto dealerships as well as RV, marine, motorsports and motorcycle retail operations.
It also is intended to benefit executives working for captive and institutional lenders and aftermarket product vendors that support the retail trades.
The accelerated 30-month program will use distance and on-campus learning methods.
While course-related information can be effectively conveyed online, honing the knowledge into powerful leadership skills requires face-to-face exposure with seasoned professors and fellow student-executives, says Northwood President Keith Pretty.
The program encompasses core management topics including financial valuation, line of business and corporate strategy, economics, marketing, and organizational behavior and leadership.
The program will include interactive discussions using case studies and build on “our strong undergraduate tradition of educating thousands of managers and dealer principals that are in leadership positions across the U.S. and around the world,” Pretty says.