Peter Vardy has set marketing students at the University of Strathclyde Business School a cash challenge to enhance sales and customer experience at the Scotland-wide Peter Vardy Limited car dealerships.
The winning team will take a cash prize of £2000, with awards of £1000 and £500 to the two runners-up. They will have to produce detailed reports about how their recommendations can be implemented.
Peter Vardy was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneurial Scotland last year, placing him in the company of business legends such as Sir Tom Hunter, Jim McColl and Sir Willie Haughey.
He said: "This project will provide the students with an opportunity to get a further insight into the world of retail. The retail environment is always changing, and at a rapid pace, and the same is true in the motor retail sector."
The importance of digital to automotive retailing has been illustrated by the record numbers of consumers visiting the Peter Vardy Limited website, after a series of digital developments has completely changed the experience of searching for a car online.
Year-on-year web visit figures are up by 128%, reaching nearly 12,500 potential buyers a day.
The automotive retailing group implemented an industry-leading online initiative in March last year by appointing dedicated digital marketing executives to each site who look after dealership-specific social media pages and stock feeds.