The course, which took place at Milbrook during July, is intended to instil a sense of ‘Zoom-Zoom’ to dealership employees by informing them about Mazda’s heritage.
It forms part of the new Mazda Academy which incorporates all of Mazda’s dealer training programmes. The carmaker is working with retailers on new courses to help them fully leverage the brand.
Rob Lindley, Mazda UK managing director, told AM: “It is easy to get transactionally focused with customers but that’s not necessarily what they want.”
Lindley drew comparisons with Apple and iPod stores where staff provide a full customer experience rather than simply selling products.
“We want dealer staff to talk about the brand, its history and heritage before the transaction,” he added.
“We are trying to ensure that dealers can share key facts about each vehicle – it will build equity in what we are selling.”
Lindley said the best retailers in the network already spend time building the benefits of the brand and they achieve the best margins.
Share the Passion is a long-term educational process for both dealer staff and Mazda’s own employees. The first block of 600 front line dealership staff, including sales executives and receptionists, completed the initial course.
Mazda hopes the majority of its dealers’ 2,500 staff will go through the process over the next 18 months.
To complement the brand training, Mazda has published a coffee table book titled ‘The A-Z of Mazda’ for the showroom reception.
“As a manufacturer, we have also been guilty of not talking enough about our heritage,” said Lindley. “We have to build the kudos in what the brand stands for.”