Mazda UK has opened a brand-new bespoke training centre that will centralise training for dealer staff from across the Mazda network. The brand-new 11,000sq foot facility in Stewartby, Bedfordshire opened today, 26th September and is a further example of the importance the firm’s Mazda Academy attaches to the training and development of people across the dealer network.
Designed to facilitate training for dealer roles from apprentice through to master technicians, as well as management training in sales and service roles, the new building gives Mazda a high-class, self-contained and purpose built facility that aims to enhance the training experience for all that attend the Mazda Academy. With the capacity to host 40 delegates a day the building also has live broadcast rooms for remote online training.
Across the course of an average year the Mazda Academy plans to host 5,500 delegates a year who will work with a dedicated team of three technical trainers and three commercial/product trainers. With a custom fit-out, the building reflects the very latest in Mazda’s corporate identity across both floors with the 7,500sq foot ground floor highlighting Mazda’s heritage and the 3,500sq foot mezzanine’s décor reflecting the ‘Crafted in Japan’ inspiration of Mazda’s premium interiors and award-winning Kodo exterior design philosophy.
On the ground floor the reception area features a space for a display car from the Mazda UK Heritage fleet, while the digital studio enables live broadcasts and in-house training content creation, while two additional broadcast rooms are fully soundproofed for live training delivery. There’s also a large apprentice training room. However, the ground floor is dominated by the large technical training workshop area, where the tool cabinets have integrated TV screens to transmit live trainer action footage.
This will bring the classroom into the workshop by enabling technicians present to view demonstrations clearly whilst around the vehicle. The workshop has space for eight cars in dedicated bays, plus is also equipped with EV charging points and is configured for training on combustion engine, plug-in hybrid and full battery electric vehicles.
With a view of the full-height workshop area below, the first floor mezzanine features three classrooms that benefit from a sliding wall system created for the flexibility to create different learning spaces, including a large open auditorium, while the first-floor also features a canteen and trainee break-out areas.
Commenting on the new Mazda Academy training facility, Mazda UK, Sales Director, Peter Allibon, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve opened this state-of-the art Mazda Academy facility that will not only host a range of important physical and virtual dealer training activities, but it will also include a studio for developing video and to deliver live broadcast modules. The automotive industry is changing at a rapid pace, with new vehicle technologies and electrification, as well as changing customer demands and preferences, so supporting our dealer network in being set up for success through these changes is crucial and the new centre is an investment to ensure that’s exactly what we do”.
Adding, “the training provided at and from this centre will ensure Mazda customers get a premium service whenever they interact with our network. And crucially, having the capacity to provide dealers with a range of different mediums for learning, will ensure this is done in the most effective and efficient way“.
Describing some of the activities that will take place at the new training centre, Mazda Academy Manager, Rob Hancock, said: “we have capacity for 40 delegates onsite per day, but in addition we will also train dealer staff from the live broadcast rooms, so can mix and match between face-to-face and online training. We will offer a brand new apprentice programme and launch a new Service, Senior and Master Technician online training programmes, which will include more bite-sized video tutorials ensuring ease of access to training at the point of need. In fact these video training clips are already supporting the launch of the all-new Mazda CX-60”.
More than just a new building, Mazda’s training centre is designed to be the perfect brand immersive environment for the next generation of Mazda talent, enabling a consistent approach to delivering a premium customer experience across Mazda’s dealer network.