Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. plans to put five to 10 minority college graduates through a management development program with hopes that they will become Mitsubishi dealers or corporate managers.
The program replaces the Mitsubishi Young Entrepreneurs Program, a scholarship and training program for minority college students. That program was announced in November 1997 and suspended in December 1998 for retooling. Mitsubishi said it halted the old program after realizing that many of the young people enrolled in it were not interested in automotive retail careers.
Ellen Gleberman, Mitsubishi senior vice president of legal, government relations and public affairs, said Mitsubishi believes the new program will help achieve its goal of having a diverse dealer network and corporate structure.
Gleberman said details of the new program are not final. Participants will get on-the-job training in Mitsubishi field offices and at its headquarters. Training will include areas such as franchise development, parts and service and distribution. They will be compensated as full-time employees with full benefits.
AT THEIR OWN PACE
While the candidates will move through the program at their own pace, Gleberman said she expects most will have enough experience to get jobs in dealerships or at corporate headquarters within three to 18 months.
The candidates will be either graduating seniors or recent graduates who have retail sales experience and are comfortable with e-commerce, she said.
Gleberman said she plans to meet with representatives of historically black and Hispanic colleges in the next few weeks to explore how the colleges can help identify candidates.
She said candidates should be recruited by the first quarter of 2000 and placed soon after; those in still college will be placed after graduation.
NADA FELLOWSHIPS CUT
The old program was to consist of a summer institute, followed by dealer mentoring and fellowships. The 20 juniors who completed the institute training were to receive $5,000 scholarships and $2,500 stipends for their senior year.
Mitsubishi had agreed to pay for five fellows to train at the National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Candidate Academy in Washington, D.C.
Students received the scholarships and stipends; the fellowship portion was discontinued.
Gleberman said the new program will not include internships this year but may at some point.