Midland, Mich. Four Northwood University students recently gathered with more than 50 other students and educational leaders from five countries for the annual NUCARS simulation in Aarhus, Denmark.
NUCARS, which stands for Northwood University Computer Automotive Retail Simulation, is a three-day management training simulation developed by The University of Toyota that provides third and fourth year college and university students with the opportunity to solve real-life obstacles in the operation of an automotive dealership.
NUCARS challenges participants to work with teammates as opposed to individually, reflecting today’s pervasive collaborative management philosophy.
Additionally, as automotive managers must now think in international terms, Northwood’s Retail Simulation program prepares students to work in a global marketplace. Team members come from a multitude of cultural and language backgrounds, requiring a higher level of understanding and cooperation to accomplish goals.
NUCARS not only gives students a glimpse of what running the day-to-day operations of an automotive dealership is like, but it also helps bring together a variety of thought processes from around the world,” said Timothy Gilbert, NUCARS simulation administrator and automotive marketing chair for Northwood University’s West Palm Beach, Fla. campus.
“In working with participants from across the globe to accomplish a common goal, they are learning lifelong skills that will be invaluable both in and out of the workplace.”
Each of the nine NUCARS teams was made of six members, one from each university. Participating colleges and universities in the 2008 Northwood Retail Simulation program included: Northwood University, IVA Driebergen (The Netherlands), Institut für Automobilwirtschaft and BFC Bundesfachschule Calw/Northeim (Germany), Groupe ESSCA Ecolé Superieure (France) and Århus Erhvervsakademi (Denmark).
Northwood’s Retail Simulation program was started 12 years ago by Dr. Robert Serum, the then-academic dean of Northwood University. It was developed with the intention of building international collaborations by bringing together students from diverse universities, countries and cultures to resolve a shared problem.
In addition to this year’s Northwood Retail Simulation program, students also had the opportunity to experience the culture of their host country and participate in a variety of activities throughout Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, including the Geneva Auto Show and German-American Business Days, a worldwide automotive industry conference.
Gilbert and Dr. Timothy Nash, Vice President, Graduate and Special Programs and Dean, Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management, were among the presenters at this conference.
Next year’s NUCARS event will be held at Groupe ESSCA in Angers, France.