The Overview


Kia Motors UK Ltd is an ambitious and successful brand who are steadily climbing the rankings of car manufacturers represented in the UK. KMUK were 10th largest car manufacturer by sales volume in 2017 with a 4.3% increase in UK market share. Further in 2017 they came out clearly on top of 29 manufacturers whose dealers were surveyed in the annual NFDA National Dealer Attitude Survey for both ‘Value of the Franchise’ and critically from Blue Water’s viewpoint, ‘How satisfied are you with the quality of your manufacturers training?’

Kia Car

The Brief

What The Client Asked For

In 2013 Blue Water won an opportunity to provide a management succession programme for the KMUK dealer network. KMUK recognising that management is key to the success of their dealers, wanted to offer an impactful programme of development for managers aspiring to progress in the sector and with the KMUK franchise.

The Leadership Development Programme’s stated purpose is to provide nominated individuals with a process of development, building the skills needed to run a dealership effectively to the standards required by KMUK and demanded by a rapidly developing market place.

Kia Dealership

The Solution

What We Delivered

We brought an in-depth knowledge of automotive retailing and multi-sector experience enabling development of an innovative programme accurately focused on the needs of KMUK and their dealers.

The Leadership Development programme is delivered over 15 months providing a unique KMUK focused journey of increasing challenge as the course progresses.

  • Phase one covers management and leadership basics using Blue Water ‘trademark’ methodologies i.e. interactive workshops with monitored action plans to transfer from classroom to workplace activity.
  • Phase two uses the same methods to challenge participants at a higher level with a focus on how managers can enable management teams to deliver high performance during constant, often disruptive change within the sector.

Everyone from President and CEO, Paul Philpott, to operational directors all engaged with participants and the programme. Those who meet the required completion standards graduate with certificates from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) – confirming industry-wide recognition of a high-quality initiative in management and leadership development.

The Results

What We Achieved

Assessment of growing management capability amongst participants is achieved by the targeting and subsequent measure of KPIs within each participating business.

Measures are chosen to reflect the developing ability of participants to gain enhanced performance from their team members and typically show substantial improvement in departmental profitability and customer satisfaction. From the outset these results have been impressive and consequently in 2019 the programme entered its sixth year.