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[ASKED] GM Dealership Corvette Technician Training/Certification Process

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Old 03-18-2017, 02:43 PM   #21
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I think that these are all legitimate questions...much better questions than what I normally see on the Ask Tadge forum.
Thanks... my second to be voted in. Need to come up with a third for the hat truck
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:44 PM   #22
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I called my local dealer to get a price on a track alignment and the recommended track oil change. Service tech had no idea what either of these were, put me on hold to ask someone else, who also had no idea..
told me he'd get call Chevy to find out and get back to me and never did.


But this was the same dealer that left my key in front of the windshield cowling by where the wipers rest and couldn't find them for 20 minutes so I'm not really surprised.
Scary isn't it? I think most of the time, the Vette owners from this forum know more than the dealerships.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:45 PM   #23
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Right now, it's like taking a Porsche to a VW dealer. Unless GM limits what dealers can sell and service Corvettes to those who sell in high volume, or separate Corvette from Chevrolet all-together, then prenotions will remain as they are.
Perhaps they should limit who can sell and service Vettes. Either you send XX number of techs to be certified, and meet other certification requirements laid out for sales/service, or you don't get to play. I'm guessing 90%+ dealers would lay out the relatively minimal investment.

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Old 03-20-2017, 10:11 AM   #24
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Perhaps they should limit who can sell and service Vettes. Either you send XX number of techs to be certified, and meet other certification requirements laid out for sales/service, or you don't get to play. I'm guessing 90%+ dealers would lay out the relatively minimal investment.
There are several things to consider.

1.) The dealers that sell only a few Corvettes per year, combined, equate to the bulk of Corvette sales. Chevrolet would likely sell less Corvettes if the number of dealers selling them were reduced.

2.) Cost vs Profit. The dealer pays for employee training. Lets say it costs the dealer $5000 to send 1 employee to 1 training event (training, flight, hotel, rental, meals, wages), multiplied by 4 (sales manager, sales person, service manager, service technician)= $20k. Now let's say the dealer makes $2000 to $3000 on each Corvette sold (average) = $6k to $9k. The dealer is going to choose not to sell Corvettes, exactly what GM does not want the dealer to do. Now, this is only 1 cost of doing business. The dealer is also mandated to purchase all special tools and equipment to service Corvettes as well as send at-least 1 Corvette sales person to Spring Mountain Motorsports.

3.) If you want your local Chevrolet dealer to specialize in Corvettes, stop buying from out-of-state dealers/at one of the big Corvette dealers. GM does not allow dealers to sell as many Corvettes as they want, you have to earn them. If a dealer really wants to sell and service a volume of Corvettes, they will be compared to those national top Corvette dealers who are selling Corvettes at a loss of profit. Yes a loss of profit, that sounds enticing for a business doesn't it? The top Corvette dealers earned their allocation from years and years and years of Corvette sales. In order to keep their sales #'s high, they sell at such a low price that they are losing $ on every Corvette sold. How can they afford to do this? They can afford it because they 1.) sell at MSRP when a new model comes out turning huge profit on 500 to 1000 units, making up for the few years of loss. And 2.) steal your trades. A dealer with low allocation can't afford to do this for the many years it would take to gain such a large allocation.

The issue doesn't lie with just the service training requirements, that's just a small part of a big picture.

One more point that I want to add.

We all want Chevrolet dealers to have knowledgeable and highly trained Corvette personnel, to perform minor and unprofitable repairs and maintenance. Your "Chevrolet My Care"/2 years of free maintenance includes 2 or 3 free oil changes depending on what model you have. GM pays the dealer $75 per Corvette oil change under the program and requires the dealer to use Mobil 1. 10qts of Mobil 1, the $75 is gone, now the dealer has to pay the technician for performing the oil change. You want a highly trained Corvette technician performing the oil change that a dealer losses money on, this is why some dealers have a very low paid/low trained/low educated person performing these oil changes.

It would be different if the Corvette required high $ maintenance or repairs. But these cars are extremely well made/designed and require very little maintenance and very few repairs, if any at all. So your highly trained (which equals highly paid) technician is going to be primarily performing minimum/low cost maintenance of Corvettes. Obviously a machine will fail or require a major repair from time to time, but you have to service Corvettes at volume to see enough major repairs and make up for the plethora of Mobil 1 oil changes and state inspections you perform. It's a very long term investment and unfortunately not enough business look far enough ahead.

I'm just expressing this to make a point. It's hard for a dealer that doesn't have a high volume of Corvette sales/service customers to justify the added expense of highly trained technicians, which also equals higher wages, to primarily perform maintenance repairs.

Our dealership (were very fortunate!) is the primary sponsor for the Rochester Corvette Club, and we work extremely hard at Corvettes and are growing because of it. But the only reason why this is possible is because we have a few employees who are die-hard Corvette fans/owners who knows what Corvette people want/need and we deliver. Without this, a dealer would never truly connect with a Corvette owner. Enough secret giving tho!

Last edited by Nate@VanBortelChevy; 03-20-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:25 PM   #25
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I sure wish you had received some responses, as I have all these same questions, but especially about what training the corvette techs should have. I thought to be an official corvette tech, they had to actually attend a real GM training course. Thoughts?
his is a prime example of why I don't get too excited about the "Ask Tadge" forum. When I voted, about half way through the posting time, this was the number one question that folks wanted answered. I think because this is a question that has broad appeal and one that many are truly interested in. Just my opinion, but most of the answered question are too specific, and I think only have a limited number of people wanting to know the answer.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:11 PM   #26
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There are several things to consider.

1.) The dealers that sell only a few Corvettes per year, combined, equate to the bulk of Corvette sales. Chevrolet would likely sell less Corvettes if the number of dealers selling them were reduced.

2.) Cost vs Profit. The dealer pays for employee training. Lets say it costs the dealer $5000 to send 1 employee to 1 training event (training, flight, hotel, rental, meals, wages), multiplied by 4 (sales manager, sales person, service manager, service technician)= $20k. Now let's say the dealer makes $2000 to $3000 on each Corvette sold (average) = $6k to $9k. The dealer is going to choose not to sell Corvettes, exactly what GM does not want the dealer to do. Now, this is only 1 cost of doing business. The dealer is also mandated to purchase all special tools and equipment to service Corvettes as well as send at-least 1 Corvette sales person to Spring Mountain Motorsports.

3.) If you want your local Chevrolet dealer to specialize in Corvettes, stop buying from out-of-state dealers/at one of the big Corvette dealers. GM does not allow dealers to sell as many Corvettes as they want, you have to earn them. If a dealer really wants to sell and service a volume of Corvettes, they will be compared to those national top Corvette dealers who are selling Corvettes at a loss of profit. Yes a loss of profit, that sounds enticing for a business doesn't it? The top Corvette dealers earned their allocation from years and years and years of Corvette sales. In order to keep their sales #'s high, they sell at such a low price that they are losing $ on every Corvette sold. How can they afford to do this? They can afford it because they 1.) sell at MSRP when a new model comes out turning huge profit on 500 to 1000 units, making up for the few years of loss. And 2.) steal your trades. A dealer with low allocation can't afford to do this for the many years it would take to gain such a large allocation.

The issue doesn't lie with just the service training requirements, that's just a small part of a big picture.

One more point that I want to add.

We all want Chevrolet dealers to have knowledgeable and highly trained Corvette personnel, to perform minor and unprofitable repairs and maintenance. Your "Chevrolet My Care"/2 years of free maintenance includes 2 or 3 free oil changes depending on what model you have. GM pays the dealer $75 per Corvette oil change under the program and requires the dealer to use Mobil 1. 10qts of Mobil 1, the $75 is gone, now the dealer has to pay the technician for performing the oil change. You want a highly trained Corvette technician performing the oil change that a dealer losses money on, this is why some dealers have a very low paid/low trained/low educated person performing these oil changes.

It would be different if the Corvette required high $ maintenance or repairs. But these cars are extremely well made/designed and require very little maintenance and very few repairs, if any at all. So your highly trained (which equals highly paid) technician is going to be primarily performing minimum/low cost maintenance of Corvettes. Obviously a machine will fail or require a major repair from time to time, but you have to service Corvettes at volume to see enough major repairs and make up for the plethora of Mobil 1 oil changes and state inspections you perform. It's a very long term investment and unfortunately not enough business look far enough ahead.

I'm just expressing this to make a point. It's hard for a dealer that doesn't have a high volume of Corvette sales/service customers to justify the added expense of highly trained technicians, which also equals higher wages, to primarily perform maintenance repairs.

Our dealership (were very fortunate!) is the primary sponsor for the Rochester Corvette Club, and we work extremely hard at Corvettes and are growing because of it. But the only reason why this is possible is because we have a few employees who are die-hard Corvette fans/owners who knows what Corvette people want/need and we deliver. Without this, a dealer would never truly connect with a Corvette owner. Enough secret giving tho!
Because of #1, maybe GM should subsidize #2 for smaller dealers? After all, it helps build the Corvette brand. Often times we hear some people who turn to Porsche, etc because of the dealership experience.

I understand the challenges your express, but business challenges don't become an excuse for delivering quality.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:33 AM   #27
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..1.)..Chevrolet would likely sell less Corvettes if the number of dealers selling them were reduced.

2.) Cost vs Profit. The dealer pays for employee training. Lets say it costs the dealer $5000 to send 1 employee to 1 training event ...The dealer is also mandated to purchase all special tools and equipment to service Corvettes as well as send at-least 1 Corvette sales person to Spring Mountain Motorsports.

3.) If you want your local Chevrolet dealer to specialize in Corvettes, stop buying from out-of-state dealers/at one of the big Corvette dealers. ...The issue doesn't lie with just the service training requirements, that's just a small part of a big picture.

...I'm just expressing this to make a point. It's hard for a dealer that doesn't have a high volume of Corvette sales/service customers to justify the added expense of highly trained technicians, which also equals higher wages, to primarily perform maintenance repairs.

...
1 Totally agree.
2 Ah, but we aren't talking about wanting highly trained experts. We're just asking for minimal competence like knowing (or caring) how to lift a Corvette without breaking the rockers. Instead of spending $5,000 for a single person training, just pay them for reading Corvette Forum for 15 minutes a day. Cost per year would be much less and knowledge gained would be more useful for day to day maintenance.

And what special tools (other than the $200 shop manual) does GM require for a Corvette that aren't required for all GM cars? If GM does require some seldom used tools then you have a point and GM should be encouraged to allow borrowing tools from other dealerships.

3 That's a sales issue, not a maintenance issue. Maintenance should be a stand alone profit center. There are a fixed number of Corvettes requiring maintenance in your service area. Whether you sold them or someone else sold them isn't going to change that number significantly. And, if the number does change then there will be more to service if more people can afford to buy them even if that isn't from you.

The IS just a maintenance training issue. Management has to understand that proper maintenance of ALL cars will result in high profits for both the shop AND sales. The vast majority of maintenance issues commonly reported here on CF could be solved with a 30 minute talk on the specific problems (see the 4 at the top of this thread) and then followed up by insisting the techs do what they are told to do and not take short cuts. We're not talking rocket science. We're talking employing competent people and insisting they do a competent job. Outstanding would be great but competent is all that is needed right now to be far ahead of the competition.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:19 PM   #28
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1 Totally agree.
2 Ah, but we aren't talking about wanting highly trained experts. We're just asking for minimal competence like knowing (or caring) how to lift a Corvette without breaking the rockers. Instead of spending $5,000 for a single person training, just pay them for reading Corvette Forum for 15 minutes a day. Cost per year would be much less and knowledge gained would be more useful for day to day maintenance.

And what special tools (other than the $200 shop manual) does GM require for a Corvette that aren't required for all GM cars? If GM does require some seldom used tools then you have a point and GM should be encouraged to allow borrowing tools from other dealerships.

3 That's a sales issue, not a maintenance issue. Maintenance should be a stand alone profit center. There are a fixed number of Corvettes requiring maintenance in your service area. Whether you sold them or someone else sold them isn't going to change that number significantly. And, if the number does change then there will be more to service if more people can afford to buy them even if that isn't from you.

The IS just a maintenance training issue. Management has to understand that proper maintenance of ALL cars will result in high profits for both the shop AND sales. The vast majority of maintenance issues commonly reported here on CF could be solved with a 30 minute talk on the specific problems (see the 4 at the top of this thread) and then followed up by insisting the techs do what they are told to do and not take short cuts. We're not talking rocket science. We're talking employing competent people and insisting they do a competent job. Outstanding would be great but competent is all that is needed right now to be far ahead of the competition.
I think you are correct in saying that most of the training required is simply communication related about the Corvette, and not some holy grail of technical automotive repair competence.

FYI - check back on some past ask Tadge answer threads. There are some special Corvette tools related to alignment (probably others I am unfamiliar with) and GM does offer a tool loaner program to the dealers.
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Old Yesterday, 08:40 AM   #29
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...FYI - check back on some past ask Tadge answer threads. There are some special Corvette tools related to alignment (probably others I am unfamiliar with) and GM does offer a tool loaner program to the dealers.
Oops. I don't have a C7 and had forgotten this answer - http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/...-problems.html There is a hopefully very inexpensive tool required for all Corvette dealerships and an expensive tool that is not required unless the dealership wants to do the alignment right. But even that tool could be used on some other cars. And you should be able to do a decent alignment even on the rear of a C7 with just an old fashioned clinometer and the required tool. IMHO, sometimes space-age tools are not only no better than 1800 vintage tools but worse. Digital sounds cool but it still depends on an analog sensor and the analog sensor is just monitoring a clinometer.
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