Automaker-sponsored programs on some level exist at the intersection of civic-mindedness and business self-interest.
Improving driving skills benefits everyone. That can involve putting people in the seats of products and if at the end of the course they have gained a potential customer, however indirectly, so much the better.
“It sells cars,” said JoAnne Caza, director of communications for Mercedes-Benz Canada, who is also responsible for its driving programs.
In particular is the Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience, which is a fee-based suite of programs geared toward owners and would-be customers. It includes everything from road tours to off-road tutelage and events where drivers sample AMG performance models on race tracks.
Caza also oversees the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, where novices are taught driving fundamentals. It’s not geared toward promoting the brand but students do get behind the wheel of a new Mercedes.
Instructors from Driving Unlimited, which delivers all of Mercedes’ driving programs, conduct classroom and online sessions out of local dealership boardrooms along with on-road sessions.