Audi Training Center - California

 

Fifty-five Audi Club Golden Gate members got a chance to visit the Audi of America Livermore technical training center. This fun day started with a breakfast event in Audi Stevens Creek’s spotless service area. Audi Stevens Creek offers free track inspection to Audi Club North America members. After breakfast, the group left for a nice drive to the Audi Livermore training center.

After about a two-hour drive through a hilly and scenic route, we all reassembled at the center. The center is located in an unassuming business park in Livermore. As a matter of fact, it was not easy to spot the center as it is tucked in the middle of nondescript buildings and warehouses.

After a delectable lunch sponsored by Audi After Sales Care, we learned the history of the training center. Audi had its first center, a smaller one, in Pleasanton from the early seventies to the mid-nineties when the center was moved to this bigger facility. Every year, the center is getting refreshed with the newest technologies and equipment. Originally, the training instructors used paper and microfilm. Today, they use iPads; computer based training materials, and the latest high tech test equipment.

Audi has four levels of certification. When a dealership employee starts, they are required to attend a few basic classes. Then over the years, they will accumulate classes via on-line training and self-study programs. Everyone is working up the ladder of certification to achieve Master Guild status.

In order to get the most out of each class, students must have read the online study materials and taken an online test. An advanced class may require twenty prerequisite classes before a student can enroll. For special advanced classes, the Audi area team will select certain individuals from dealers to attend.

In North America, about 2.600 students graduate annually from 10 training centers. The other nine are located in Ontario, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, New Jersey, Virginia, Atlanta, Florida, and Seattle.

Audi of America hosts the Twin Cup Challenge annually for all graduates. The challenge consists of timed-written assessments and hands on challenges. The top six winners, three technicians and three service consultants, will make up the team representing the North America at the World Challenge in Europe. The North America team competes against the teams from all over the world where Audi cars are sold. And the North America team has won top honors several times.

After a Q&A session, we walked into the training area where there are rows of engines on stands. They explained the different training courses they conduct here, such as engine repair, automatic transmission, DSG, electrical system, network, brakes, handling control, air bag, and sophisticated diagnostic tools. We all wanted to play with the toys around us.