INGOLSTADT -- As part of its global sales and service offensive, Audi has opened its first international training center for dealership staff.
This year, 16,000 salespersons and service advisors will be trained in the center at Munich Airport in Germany. Starting in 2011, there will be 20,000 participants from 45 countries.
The training takes place in the participants' respective national languages and Audi has erected four interpreter booths for this. A total of 15 trainers are at work each day.
Horst Hanschur, manager of central sales development at Audi, said the center is needed because sales staff face new challenges including managing an increasing number of new models.
"For this reason, the systematic training of employees in dealerships is more important than ever," Hanschur said.
He said the center aims to convey "excellent product knowledge" to Audi's sales partners.
The Munich location is Audi's only non-technical training center.
Last October, the automaker opened an international training center for service staff in Neckarsulm, Germany.
The company has 11 training centers worldwide for service, six of them in Germany.
It's not certain whether more training centers for salespersons will follow.
Hanschur plans to first "gather up the experiences and then decide whether we will set up more centers of this kind."
In light of the premium automaker's current product offense, he can "definitely imagine" an expansion.