The Academy, launched in July, is designed to encourage more recruits to look at the motor industry as a career by promoting quality, skilled training. It offers nationally recognised accreditation through the NVQ scheme, which combines classroom learning with intensive vocational training.
Mr Rogers, credited with developing the Academy, will oversee the initial pilot programme, dedicated to sales training. Six recruits are undergoing three months classroom learning and nine months fieldwork at an HR Owen dealership. The Academy will eventually be extended to include training for all departments.
A spokeswoman said HR Owen was taking a different approach to training by looking for non-automotive recruits. “We found that people with previous industry experience have often picked up bad habits,” she said. “But non-automotive people come in fresh. We can teach them how to sell a car according to the HR Owen system.”
Craig Gallacher replaces Mr Rogers as dealer principal at HR Owen's Citygate Vauxhall dealership. He also takes responsibility for the group's Cadillac outlet.
HR Owen has also appointed Marc Jaconelli as dealer principal at its Malaya Bromley Mercedes-Benz dealership in South-east London. Mr Jaconelli has previously managed the Malaya Gatwick and Epsom sites.