The Group dedicates considerable resources to support environmental and safety training in our dealer and service network.
In 2013, approximately 2.1 million hours of training on these issues were provided to sales people, technicians and after-sales staff worldwide, representing approximately 33% of all training provided.
Worldwide, the sales force received 1.1 million hours of specific training on topics related to the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, eco-friendly technologies, alternative fuels and the latest generation engines. In addition, when possible, test drives were organized to demonstrate the characteristics of these engines and their competitive advantages.
Worldwide training for service technicians and after-sales personnel involved roughly 845,000 hours with continued focus on developing know-how in the repair and maintenance of eco-friendly engines and safety and environmental-related features. This training is essential to ensure engine efficiency and reduce fuel consumption and emission levels in accordance with regulatory limits. In addition, the increased presence of safety features on the vehicles was supported by specific training covering these topics for the after-sales staff in the dealerships (about 113,500 hours provided).
On-site and web training
The Group provides extensive web training for all dealership positions, as well as web-based equivalency courses for those network professionals who are not located near live course offerings. Local and web training make information and knowledge accessible to everyone in the dealer network, saving time and money, and reducing the environmental impact of travel.
As key training developers and providers, Unetversity and Chrysler Academy offer various on-line tools and performance support, including virtual classroom online training, web portals, tablet apps, in-dealership touch-screen kiosks and smartphone-optimized tools and resources. In 2013, 60% of total training hours were provided to the dealer network through the web or virtual classrooms.
Over 3.7 million online hours of training were delivered to Group sales, after-sales and technical personnel in the four regions. These web-based training channels eliminated the need for over 110 million kilometers of travel around the world, resulting in a reduction of approximately 24,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
With the objective of offering solutions close to the participants, Fiat and Chrysler Group offer 34 Technical Training Centers located across NAFTA, 34 in EMEA, 22 in LATAM and 6 in APAC to cover the training needs of field personnel.
Finally, several initiatives have been implemented in the US to reduce the environmental impact from technical training. These efforts include a reduction in print/paper usage by eliminating the annual printed course catalog, moving to a print-on-demand strategy for course materials instead of bulk printing, and using erasable tent cards/name tags in live courses. In addition, the new eResource Guide allows all professionals within the Chrysler Group dealer network to readily review and understand the variety of learning offerings available from Chrysler Academy. This electronic guide eliminates the need for printed course catalogs, can be updated easily and cost-effectively, and provides a comprehensive source of information for all Academy course offerings, curricula, and available on-line tools and resources.
Alternative fuels workshop
The growing interest in alternative fuel vehicles, confirmed each year by sales data, has prompted Unetversity, the Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) training center, to create a training workshop targeting this topic.
An ad hoc training event for the Italian Lancia sales network, the Lancia 2013 Product Day (involving around 440 dedicated FGA salespersons and field staff) presented information about various product innovations and financial services. Unetversity trainers also provided details about the various types of fuel systems available on the market: from natural gas to electric, from LPG to hybrid and from bio-fuel to hydrogen. They led an analysis of features, operation, emissions, procurement and management of each type of system.
In addition, market data and alternative fuel trends were presented to illustrate the short-, medium- and long-term selling potential, and suggested market opportunities and risks.
During the training day, all participants had the chance to take a test drive of about an hour on a route with different types of terrain to compare the Lancia Ypsilon TwinAir EcoChic to the Toyota Hybrid and therefore to verify the specific characteristics and performance of the two products.
In addition to an overview of the types of fuel, which helped expand participants’ automotive knowledge, the training was designed to provide attendees with the information, expertise and skills needed to effectively communicate the eco-friendly and economic competitiveness of Lancia’s EcoChic offering that runs on gasoline/natural gas and gasoline/LPG bi-fuel versions.