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Cox Automotive Executive Vice President and vAuto Founder Dale Pollak (fourth from left) and EVP & Chief People Officer Janet Barnard (fifth from left) were on campus to welcome students to the new Cox Automotive Solutions Lab.

Cox Automotive Executive Vice President and vAuto Founder Dale Pollak (fourth from left) and EVP & Chief People Officer Janet Barnard (fifth from left) were on campus to welcome students to the new Cox Automotive Solutions Lab.

New Cox Automotive Solutions Lab

Peeking into Northwood’s new Cox Automotive Solutions Lab can be deceiving. What looks like a typical computer lab is something extraordinary: students learning how to manage successful automotive businesses using the exact digital tools that dealerships use every day. This real-world learning opportunity donated by Cox Automotive was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony during Northwood’s Welcome Weekend in September 2018.

The Cox Automotive Solutions Lab is another way that Northwood gives students hands-on, experiential learning targeted to meet the automotive industry’s current and evolving needs. Located in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, the lab introduces Automotive Marketing and Management students to technology and tools that help maximize profitability in automotive dealerships.

“We are excited to add this cutting-edge computer lab to Northwood’s automotive marketing and management curriculum. With this tremendous gift, Cox Automotive is making a strong commitment to both our students and the future of the automotive industry,” said Elgie Bright, associate professor and chair of Northwood’s Automotive Marketing and Management Department. “Northwood students are learning how to use digital solutions that will give them an advantage in the workplace.”

In the Lab, students practice with the company’s portfolio of programs and theories, like vAuto’s Velocity Method of Management™ principles and Xtime’s concepts for improving efficiency on the fixed operations side of the business. Along with the lab, sophomores and juniors are taking two new classes, Fixed Operations and Variable Operations, developed by Bright.

“The Cox Automotive Solutions Lab continues our constructive partnership with Cox Automotive. As one of the leaders in automotive marketing, Cox Automotive offers our students a unique perspective into a quickly evolving market,” said Bright. “Our students are the industry’s future workforce. The lab – plus our new classes – puts their ‘learning curve’ in the classroom rather than waiting until they are on the job.”

Cox Automotive Supports Northwood Students

  • Since 2000, Cox Automotive and its businesses have been a dedicated friend of the University through:

  • Annual Cox Automotive full-ride scholarship for the general chair of the Northwood University International Auto Show

  • Annual Barbara Cox Memorial Scholarship for a female student enrolled in the Automotive Marketing and Management program

  • National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Scholarship

  • Sponsor of the annual Auto Show Gala, helping raise funds for two Northwood scholarships

  • Learning events such as the Interactive Dealer Summit in 2016 that focused on information sharing, best practices, and networking for NU students, Michigan dealerships, and Cox Automotive executives

  • Hiring Northwood graduates to work in the many companies under the Cox Automotive umbrella