Course Descriptions

AM 1320 Role and Function of the American Automobile Dealership 3 credits
An introductory course for students in automotive marketing & management. Studies the role and function of the automobile dealership by examining several key factors including the relationship between the manufacturers and their dealers, possible career paths within the automotive industry, finding the right location, and facilities planning. Cash flow planning, vehicle floor planning, and marketing topics will be discussed.

AM 2520 Independent Dealership Operations 3 credits
Focuses on the non-franchise, independent automobile dealer. These dealers are essential to the long-term survival of the American automobile industry. The disposition of used vehicles is necessary to accommodate the new vehicle sales, and these dealers have unique requirements organizationally. The role of sales and salespeople, advertising, marketing, auctions, vehicle reconditioning, wholesalers, vehicle pricing, financing- including sub-prime and dealer financing, and lot location and display will be studied.
Prerequisite: 30 credit hours completed

AM 2540 Current Issues in Dealership Technology 3 credits
A study of the current trends in technology available to dealers including computer systems to retain and utilize financial and customer data including service history; business development centers to create a stronger bond with customers and prospects; computer software to develop strong advertising campaigns using the Internet and other electronic media; and customer relationship management tools to maximize customer retention and to develop directed prospecting systems. This course will also look at virtual dealership models and virtual selling techniques.
Prerequisite: 30 credit hours completed

AM 2560 Strategic Sales and Marketing Issues 3 credits
Automobile dealers must develop a successful market strategy for their dealership to differentiate themselves from their competitors. This course will discuss the differences between sales and marketing, the functions of a successful marketing campaign, creating and sustaining a brand identity, creating customer value, the differences between conquest sales and fresh sales, and a discussion of various buyer profiles.
Prerequisite: 30 credit hours completed

AM 2640 Dealership Variable Operations 3 credits
Study of the vital role successful new and used vehicle departments play in the profitability of American franchise automobile dealerships. Topics covered include selection and motivation of employees, directing the sales staffs, evaluating advertising media basics, sales promotion, facilities planning, inventory control, maximizing inventory turn methods, wholesaling practices, trade-in appraising, vehicle reconditioning for retail sales, and the role of auctions in maintaining proper inventory balance. This course will utilize the ERA computer system.
Prerequisite: AM 1320

AM 2650 Dealership Fixed Operations 3 credits
Study of the management of the mechanical service department, the body shop department, and the parts department of American franchised automobile dealers. This class will emphasize repair order generation and control, shop utilization, scheduling of work, employee selection and motivation, technician productivity and efficiency, body shop estimating techniques, and dealing with insurance companies. This course will also emphasize the relationship between the parts and service departments, retail counter sales, wholesale parts sales, inventory ordering and turn, stock and non-stock parts numbers, level of service, stock order performance, and part phase-in/phase-out criteria. This course will utilize the ERA computer system.
Prerequisite: AM 1320

AM 3020 International Summer University 3 credits
The International Summer University (ISU) is a two week, international marketing program sponsored by the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Wolfsburg, Germany. While the general emphasis is on marketing, it does focus on automotive applications. Students attending this conference will be assigned case studies in marketing issues and team assignments designed to demonstrate their capability in analytical problem solving. The course includes visits to several organizations and a formal presentation of the final project on the City of Wolfsburg to the Lord Mayor of Wolfsburg in the City Council chambers.
Prerequisites: 60 credit hours completed and approval of the department chair

AM 3040 Global Automotive Issues 3 credits
An examination of the critical decision making process manufacturers go through when allocating resources for new product launches while looking for the best return on their investment. American manufacturers are researching developing markets where a large, new customer base has yet to be established. This means more new products will go to the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) rather than the United States. Market strategies of the major global manufacturers and their potential in those markets will be analyzed. Each market will be analyzed while concentrating on the advantages and disadvantages from a manufacturing and consumer point of view.
Prerequisite: 60 credit hours completed

AM 3630 Dealership Accounting 3 credits
Focuses on the application of the basic accounting principles to the retail automobile dealership. Transactions are traced from the source documents through the accounting records into the financial statements. Students will prepare and analyze all standard dealership operating and reporting documents. The course will provide students to be exposed to computerized accounting through the use of an ERA computer system.
Prerequisite: 60 credit hours completed

AM 3650 Dealership Legal Issues/Finance and Insurance 3 credits
A review of the many federal, state, and local regulatory agencies and laws dealerships must respond to including the Internal Revenue Service, state and local Departments of Revenue, Federal Trade Commission, Fair Labor Standards Act, Truth in Advertising, Truth in Lending, OSHA, EPA, and other agencies. Also includes an in-depth study of the dealership finance and insurance departments, with special emphasis on products offered in these departments and the profit potential.
Prerequisite: 60 credit hours completed

AM 3680 Advanced Dealership Fixed Operations 3 credits
A comprehensive analysis of successful fixed operations management and its contribution to the viability and profit performance of the entire dealership. This is achieved by examining the processes and economics of the mechanical service, body shop, and parts departments of American franchised dealerships as both traditional stand alone departments and also as a unified business unit. The investigation of operational and financial considerations underlying essential concepts includes: repair order generation, technician and shop efficiency and productivity, scheduling, body shop estimating techniques, parts inventory strategies, part phase-in/out criteria, and level of service. Special attention is given to advanced issues intended to build competitive advantage for the entire dealership in the current business environment, such as adoption of lean production techniques, sources and uses of working capital, and strategies to retain/regain market share relative to aftermarket competitors. This course includes an ERA computer Lab section.
Prerequisite: AM 2640

AM 3850 Special Topics 1-3 credits
Various topics in automotive marketing and management. These may be one-time or occasional course offerings.
Prerequisite: Dependent on specific course content

AM 3980 Retail Automotive Operations Management 3 credits
A focus on workflow within the retail/wholesale value chain to achieve maximum product exposure. Students will be challenged by an extensive case study requiring skills related to all value chain components. This is a highly intense class with limited enrollment.
Prerequisite: approval of the department chair

AM 3990 Internship 3 credits
The internship (400 hours of paid employment) is designed to provide the student with supervised on-the-job training. A contract between the college, student, and employer provides the groundwork. Objectives, evaluations, written log, and a study of the organization are designed to provide a realistic learning experience.
Prerequisite: 30 credit hours completed

AM 3995 Directed Study 3 credits
A focus on the uniqueness and diversity of American franchise automobile dealerships in a major metropolitan market. The student will gain an understanding of dealership design, management and operation, customer relations, inventory control, and other dealership activities through visitation and observation of dealerships in operation, and by talking directly to dealers and managers at various dealerships. The class will visit a minimum of six dealerships during the semester. Attention will be given to comparing and contrasting different dynamics of dealership operation such as size (large versus small), brand (import versus domestic), and age (older versus newer). The student will be required to select one dealership for an in-depth case study.
Prerequisite: 60 credit hours completed

AM 4020 Dealership Valuation, Dealer Development, Successorship Issues 3 credits
A discussion regarding the important topics of determining the value of a business, specifically an automobile dealership, transferring ownership of that business through buy-sell agreements and the role that the manufacturers play in keeping dealerships from failing. Discusses how manufacturers have a vested interest in seeing their franchise dealerships succeed. Likewise, they are very protective of who owns and manages these dealerships. For these reasons, the manufacturers have instituted programs aimed at helping dealerships remain profitable and have incorporated into the language of the franchise agreement the right to approve successors to existing dealer principals.
Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed

AM 4100 Independent Research Topics 3 credits
Requires selecting a specific, researchable area of interest as the project. Potential topics include: personnel issues, the heavy duty truck sector, publicly owned dealerships, global marketing strategies, or other areas as approved by the department chair. Students must have an approved abstract outlining the nature and topic of the research prior to beginning. The research project and methodology must be approved by the department chair.
Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed

AM 4650 Dealership Financial Statement Analysis 3 credits
Discusses the importance of employing sound business and financial practices in the operation of a profitable automobile dealership. This class will discuss topics such as sound credit practices, insurance requirements, inventory control, wholesale and retail financing practices, and budgeting and forecasting techniques. This class will concentrate on studying in-depth the dealership financial statement, examining it by use of established ratios and percentages and other analytical tools, in order to make sound business decisions.
Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed

AM 4651 Dealership Accounting & Financial Statement Analysis 3 credits
This course explores ways and means of mining a dealership's data management systems (DMS) to improve operational performance. Study begins by tracing the entry of individual transactions from source documents through the dealership's accounting records and into the resulting management reports and financial statements. Students will prepare and analyze standard dealership operating and reporting documents with emphasis on financial statement analysis as a management tool. This course is offered in conjunction with a required lab section.
Prerequisites: ACC 2410 and AM 3680

AM 4660 Dealership Management for International Students 3 credits
Designed to be a capstone course for international students studying the American franchise automobile dealership. The focus will be on studying current trends and developments, doing research in relevant topics, and individual and team case studies. Experts from outside the classroom will be brought in to discuss important topics of current concern. Students will also be encouraged to visit dealerships located near the campus to observe their operations.
Prerequisite: Senior international students

AM 4670 Dealership General Management 3 credits
A capstone course for automotive marketing & management which includes a study of current retail marketing and management enterprises, inventory control, personnel management, customer care, and financial controls, as well as a review of the function and management of each of the five basic dealership departments. This course will utilize the ERA computer system to evaluate critical dealership operational and financial performance.
Prerequisite: 90 credit hours completed