Kia Motors recently enlisted the help of wild animals to train their sales staff about their new fourth generation Sportage.
The all-day Masterclass, which was hosted at West Midland Safari & Leisure Park, aimed to familiarise sales staff with the new design, technology and features of their popular C-SUV.
It all began at a mansion situated on the grounds where staff were divided in to teams and assigned their own ‘Trainer Rangers’ (who even donned matching Akubra hats). Each team then went their separate ways and rotated around different locations where they learnt more about how the car has evolved.
It was ‘evolution’ that was the theme of the day. This was represented by each generation of Sportage parked in a line - much like the ‘March of Progress’ picture that symbolises the stages of man, from ape to homosapien.
“We’ve got the older cars here just to show how far we have come over the years. The first model we would have dealt with through a traditional launch-type event - probably Powerpoint presentations in classrooms and so on. We have moved away from that, far more on to experiential learning,” says Ian Goswell, Academy Manager.
And while experiential learning was key in most locations, as staff were required to practice using the new self-parking technology or drive on tough terrain, other locations were more academic - such as the ‘Family Fortunes’ style gameshow that was based on customer surveys.
Simon Hetherington, Kia’s Commercial Director, says: “The reason why we make such a significant investment in a training event like this is because we think it is vital that everyone involved in selling and servicing Kia products really understands what makes them stand out from the competition. And we’d like everyone who’s been through this event today to share that enthusiasm and that excitement with their customers when they are back at their dealership.”
It is this excitement that Kia is renowned for bringing to their Masterclass events. Previously they embraced James Bond and adopted a secret agent-theme when training their staff, this time they caused a stir by letting employees drive alongside zebras, elephants and even big cats.
Izabelle Dunne, one of the Trainer Rangers on the day, says: “You wouldn’t even think of it as training as everyone has so much fun - when else do you get to drive through a safari park passed elephants and zebras to learn about a new car? And because they have fun, staff naturally absorb the facts and information that we are trying to get across.”
To read more about how Kia embraced James Bond and Spectre to train staff, click here.
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