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CDK's automotive 'university challenge' offers students £10,000 prize fund

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CDK Global is giving students at six UK universities the chance to win a £10,000 prize as part of a new scheme aiming to introduce them to the automotive retail sector.

The CDK Dealer Tech University Automotive Technology Competition will see students tasked with developing a technology product idea that will help car dealers transition their business amidst today’s tech trends, the impact of COVID-19 and shifting consumer demands.

They will have from October 2020 to April 2021 to develop and create their ideas, which will be presented to a panel of judges including the CDK Global senior leadership team, AM editor Tim Rose and Julia Muir, CEO of Gaia Innovation and the founder of the Automotive 30% Club.

The universities currently set to participate in the competition are Bath, Exeter, Buckingham, Warwick, Surrey and Southampton, with a total national prize of £10,000 for the overall winning student team and a £3,000 prize for the winning team from each university.

Joaquim Croca, vice president, commercial at CDK Global said: “The CDK Dealer Tech - University Automotive Technology Competition gives students the chance to gain hands on experience and raise awareness of career opportunities available to them after they graduate.

“We are excited for the competition to launch and look forward to seeing many innovative and diverse ideas develop.”

Back in January CDK launched its 'Dealership Dilemmas'' whitepaper in a bid to highlight and attempt to address some of the key sticking points encountered in the modern car retail environment.

Since then, the corornavirus pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation in the sector, presenting a host of new challenges and opportunities, which students will be able to explore.

CDK Global is working with the SETsquared Partnership, and additional contacts from research-led universities to promote its Automotive Technology Competition and support student teams with their ideas.

Siobain Hone, chair of the SETsquared Student Enterprise Practice Group, said: “It’s our aim to instil entrepreneurial spirit across our regions and harness innovative ideas to provide business opportunities for our students.

“We share CDK Global’s goal to support future talent and a great way to do this is to shed light on the automotive retail industry and provide students with the opportunity to build ideas around real-life challenges.”

SETsquared is the enterprise partnership between five UK universities (Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Surrey and Southampton) that provides support programmes to help students, researchers and entrepreneurs to turn ideas and innovation into successful businesses.

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