GM Training Clinics Set To Grow


More instructors, better information, wider availability on tap

Body RepairGM Customer Care & Aftersales (GM CCA) is expanding and refining its ability to train Independent Shops in the finer points of GM vehicle repair.

GM CCA now has more highly skilled and trained instructors for its GM Training Clinic program.

Taking its trainer staff from 3 to 13, GM CCA will be better positioned to meet dealer requests for the dealer-sponsored clinics. With trainers now in 11 states, the program’s capacity to deliver GM-specific diagnostic and repair knowledge to Independent Shops will grow by 50 percent.

“We now have a broader array of instructors more strategically located around the country, giving us a more efficient model that will keep instructors teaching rather than traveling,” says Dale Tripp, manager, engineering, training, quality & brand protection.

But it’s not just about quantity. It’s also about quality. Working with training partner, GM has continued to sharpen the clinics’ focus on GM-specific information.

edit_VoltIn 2014, several new clinics were added, focusing on timely topics such as cranking and charging systems; hybrid vehicle safety; body control and safety systems; diagnostic resources; and supplemental restraint systems. More new, better-targeted clinics are on the drawing board for 2015. They’re yet to be finalized, but module reprogramming could be one area of focus.

The tighter focus on the unique needs of Independents has dictated the makeup and preparation of the clinic instructor team. GM’s expanded roster of factory-qualified trainers has been selected and trained in close cooperation with the GM Service Engineering team.

The aim is to better tailor the GM training to the unique needs and realities Independent Shops.  The clinics have always been geared to meet Independents’ calls for more specific information on how to repair today’s GM vehicles. Now they’re being more finely tuned to the reality of how shops approach GM vehicle diagnostics and repair.

“We’re providing GM-specific information, but with an aftermarket twist,” says David Collier, training program manager with GM’s training partner. “Since Independents have a different tool set and different access points to get OE repair information, that changes what and how we teach.”

It’s an approach that should satisfy Josh Dana, owner of Dana Bros Automotive & Diesel Service, Chandler, Ariz. Dana has attended several GM Training Clinics sponsored by his local GM dealer. They’ve offered solid technical training and also provided some good networking opportunities, but he’s eager for more meaty GM-specific information.

“We’d like the same level of in-depth technical information, such as diagnostic scan tool training, that GM dealer techs receive,” he says.

But the content of the clinics won’t be the only change. With more instructors in closer proximity to participating dealers, they’ll be more readily available, too.

In short, there’s never been a better time to explore the opportunities that the GM Training Clinic program presents. As availability expands to accommodate requests from more of the dealer network, stay alert to notices from dealers about upcoming clinics. And don’t hesitate to ask dealers about their participation in the program. The clinics are better than ever, and Independent Shops can be more assured the time will be well spent.

“Shops have talked a lot about how hard it is to get specific training on the vehicles they’re servicing,” says Collier. “We’re now able to deliver the same quality of training that’s being given to GM dealer techs, but spun to fit the Independent Shops.”