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[ANSWERED] GM Dealership Corvette Technician Training/Certification Process

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[ANSWERED] GM Dealership Corvette Technician Training/Certification Process

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Old 03-22-2017, 08:37 AM
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Default [ANSWERED] GM Dealership Corvette Technician Training/Certification Process

The original question is here.

slickstick asked
Is service quality and inconsistency an acknowledged issue by GM and, if so, what is being done to rectify it?
Tadge answered:
Thank you for the question, slickstick. Having talked to thousands of customers over the years, all Corvette team members are acutely aware of this concern. In addition, many of us or close family members own Corvettes and have more personal experiences with Corvette service Ė mostly positive but a few negative. Of course, the negative stories get far more air-play than the positive ones, but yes, this is an acknowledged issue because we hear the real-world stories.

To give everyone reading this some background: All Chevrolet dealers are independent businesses. By law, automakers cannot own dealerships, a rule Tesla is challenging in court. So, even though you can buy an Apple product in an Apple-owned store, the auto industry has been singled-out for different treatment under the law. The result is that we have limited leverage over the dealer operations. Dealers are as different as the markets they serve. For some, the Corvette is a huge part of their business and the way they operate it shows that priority. Others sell only a few Vettes a year and so donít want to invest large amounts in Corvette service capability.

Here are some important facts to keep in mind:
  • Not all Corvette dealers are Corvette Certified
  • Certified Corvette dealers are required to keep their Sales and Service staff trained on both the product features and the technical functions of the vehicle. The training is updated each model year
  • Certified Corvette dealers are required to have all of the special tools necessary to repair the vehicle.
  • Dealers have access to all new service communications (bulletins and preliminary information)
  • Dealers are required to view Emerging Issues training. This keeps the technicians updated with the latest diagnostic information and repair procedures.

I can image the question being asked, ďWhy donít you limit Corvette sales to known certified dealers with good track record for service?Ē We have done that in the past and we get lots of feedback from dealers and customers in smaller markets. Customers get quite upset if they canít buy their dream car at their local dealer, someone they consider a pillar of their community and with whom they have done business for many years. The smaller dealer would like to get the customer the car, but that sale doesnít warrant investing in the special tools and training to service the car for life.

Chevrolet has worked very hard to establish Corvette sales and service requirements for dealers. There are many very good dealers but to your point, it is not as consistent as it needs to be and is one of our focus areas as we try to continuously improve our customerís experience. The Chevy service team works hard to send out dealer bulletins and over-communicate service procedures for Corvette. We even required every dealership to send a sales person to our official driving school at Spring Mountain to learn all about the seventh generation Corvette.

Although dealers are independent businesses, we do consider them our partners and will continue to do everything in our power to improve our customerís experience. The effort has been paying off. Data from independent customer surveys has been getting better. In fact, Chevrolet is ranked the highest full-line manufacturer in service satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:29 AM
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I don't think this is the answer that most are looking for. But to reiterate some points that both Tadge and I have made:

1.) Dealers are independents, therefor service and specialty varies from dealer to dealer.
2.) Loyal customers of small Chevrolet dealers should not have to take their business elsewhere to buy a Chevrolet.
3.) Small dealers can't justify the added expense of training/special tools/special employees to handle very few Corvettes for very little or a loss of profit.
3.) Those dealers who show that they care about Corvettes are your best bet
4.) GM is aware that there is room for improvement in Corvette customer service satisfaction.

It is my belief that in order to best serve Corvette customers you need to brand Corvette separate from Chevrolet. It will still be a model in Chevrolet's line-up, but it would be a separate building from the Chevrolet dealership. The drawback is the majority of dealers would drop selling Corvettes and you would only have 1 or 2 Corvette dealers per major city. The Corvette becomes more special, but you risk losing sales volume and you upset those loyal small dealer customers that want to buy a Corvette from their dealer (which is a huge portion of new Corvette sales).
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:41 AM
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I don't agree that every mom & pop Chevy dealer should be able to sell a Corvette, simply because they are a "pillar of the community". The Corvette is a totally different beast from an Impala, and if a dealer doesn't believe it's valuable for them to invest in training, there is absolutely no reason to sell 2 or 3 Corvettes a year there. Those 2-3 car sales do NOTHING to help the dealer financially. It's simply a "feel-good" moment for customers who have some strange need to buy a Corvette at one particular dealership.

If someone feels a need to buy a car at their local Chevy dealer, and that dealer doesn't have the certification to sell one, then that's just tough luck. I think their ego and feelings will survive the harsh blow of seeking a Corvette elsewhere. Meanwhile, they can continue to support their local dealer if they wish by purchasing an Impala or a Silverado there.

No German car manufacturer would have these odd requirements to cave in to customers who have this moth-to-the-flame mentality when it comes to car purchases. Can you see a Porsche dealer not being certified in servicing the Porsche 911 Turbo S, but they can handle a Panamera just fine?

The situation is just insane, but I laud Tadge for thoroughly and adequately explaining the situation for all of us.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:04 AM
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This is because Chevy wants to SELL corvettes, and the best way to do so is to get them to every dealer possible.

Chevy will never limit sales to certified dealerships as that will likely risk a good amount of sales via all the small guys combined.

Plain and simple, as shitty as it is, the economics and profit driven mentalities won't allow Chevy to split Corvette away in any form or fashion.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Speednet View Post
I don't agree that every mom & pop Chevy dealer should be able to sell a Corvette, simply because they are a "pillar of the community". The Corvette is a totally different beast from an Impala, and if a dealer doesn't believe it's valuable for them to invest in training, there is absolutely no reason to sell 2 or 3 Corvettes a year there. Those 2-3 car sales do NOTHING to help the dealer financially. It's simply a "feel-good" moment for customers who have some strange need to buy a Corvette at one particular dealership.

If someone feels a need to buy a car at their local Chevy dealer, and that dealer doesn't have the certification to sell one, then that's just tough luck. I think their ego and feelings will survive the harsh blow of seeking a Corvette elsewhere. Meanwhile, they can continue to support their local dealer if they wish by purchasing an Impala or a Silverado there.

No German car manufacturer would have these odd requirements to cave in to customers who have this moth-to-the-flame mentality when it comes to car purchases. Can you see a Porsche dealer not being certified in servicing the Porsche 911 Turbo S, but they can handle a Panamera just fine?

The situation is just insane, but I laud Tadge for thoroughly and adequately explaining the situation for all of us.
Originally Posted by \Boost Monkey/ View Post
This is because Chevy wants to SELL corvettes, and the best way to do so is to get them to every dealer possible.

Chevy will never limit sales to certified dealerships as that will likely risk a good amount of sales via all the small guys combined.

Plain and simple, as shitty as it is, the economics and profit driven mentalities won't allow Chevy to split Corvette away in any form or fashion.
Sales #'s are the bulk of why things are the way they are. The majority of Corvette sales occur at small dealers. 30,000 vettes / 3,000 dealers= 10 sold per dealer on average, some less, some more. You take away the ability for a small dealer to sell a Vette and you upset a lot of Corvette owners/customers.

But a big thing to remember is those who have positive experiences are less vocal than those who have negative experiences. There are plenty of good and even excellent dealerships and dealership employees.

We're a special breed of people, it takes special people like us to understand how we like our Corvette's to be handled.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sales #'s are the bulk of why things are the way they are. The majority of Corvette sales occur at small dealers. 30,000 vettes / 3,000 dealers= 10 sold per dealer on average, some less, some more. You take away the ability for a small dealer to sell a Vette and you upset a lot of Corvette owners/customers.

But a big thing to remember is those who have positive experiences are less vocal than those who have negative experiences. There are plenty of good and even excellent dealerships and dealership employees.

We're a special breed of people, it takes special people like us to understand how we like our Corvette's to be handled.
Those are your words, not Tadge's. Apparently you claim to know more about GM than Tadge?
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:39 PM
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Is there a list of Certified Corvette Dealers?
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:57 PM
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That is a great question!
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:57 AM
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its easy.... ask the dealer..... but just remember a certification in a frame just means you took the class.... you can have a D average graduate last in your class and still be an M.D.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RFBHD View Post
its easy.... ask the dealer..... but just remember a certification in a frame just means you took the class.... you can have a D average graduate last in your class and still be an M.D.
Uh, no. Anything less than a B is flunking. And to get into med school, you need A's in everything, including stuff like Organic Chemistry which, unless you have a genius level IQ difficult for most everyone.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:59 PM
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[QUOTE=mschuyler;1594364883]Uh, no. Anything less than a B is flunking. And to get into med school, you need A's in everything, including stuff like Organic Chemistry which, unless you have a genius level IQ difficult for most everyone.[/QUOTE

oh please..... yes that is why the malpractice industry is thriving ... if your a doctor you MUST be smart and competent ....right
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:31 PM
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Soooo, you bought a ZO6 that overheats. A ZO6 that eats valves. Does it matter at all if the dealer is certified or not?
IMHO, Corvette has to fix the problems it dumps on us first. Then worry about who fixes them.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I don't think this is the answer that most are looking for. But to reiterate some points that both Tadge and I have made:

1.) Dealers are independents, therefor service and specialty varies from dealer to dealer.
2.) Loyal customers of small Chevrolet dealers should not have to take their business elsewhere to buy a Chevrolet.
3.) Small dealers can't justify the added expense of training/special tools/special employees to handle very few Corvettes for very little or a loss of profit.
3.) Those dealers who show that they care about Corvettes are your best bet
4.) GM is aware that there is room for improvement in Corvette customer service satisfaction.

It is my belief that in order to best serve Corvette customers you need to brand Corvette separate from Chevrolet. It will still be a model in Chevrolet's line-up, but it would be a separate building from the Chevrolet dealership. The drawback is the majority of dealers would drop selling Corvettes and you would only have 1 or 2 Corvette dealers per major city. The Corvette becomes more special, but you risk losing sales volume and you upset those loyal small dealer customers that want to buy a Corvette from their dealer (which is a huge portion of new Corvette sales).
Unfortunately, all we heard about were the challenges (#1-3), but not really anything about what is being done to improve (#4). I think most are less interested in hearing excuses and more interested in hearing about potential solutions.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by \Boost Monkey/ View Post
This is because Chevy wants to SELL corvettes, and the best way to do so is to get them to every dealer possible.

Chevy will never limit sales to certified dealerships as that will likely risk a good amount of sales via all the small guys combined.

Plain and simple, as shitty as it is, the economics and profit driven mentalities won't allow Chevy to split Corvette away in any form or fashion.
I think that then perhaps, GM should consider subsidizing the training and tools required to service Vettes adequately at smaller dealers as an investment in the Corvette brand.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by millpond View Post
Is there a list of Certified Corvette Dealers?
Wondering this myself... perhaps there should be a "Corvette Certified" addition to their street sign so it's obvious. Maybe some incentive for more dealers to be come certified.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by slickstick View Post
Wondering this myself... perhaps there should be a "Corvette Certified" addition to their street sign so it's obvious. Maybe some incentive for more dealers to be come certified.
I looked on the Chevrolet web site and could not find anything about "Corvette Certified". So 2 days ago I sent them an email asking why isn't this information on the site. So far I have not heard back from them. Maybe if enough people got on the Chevrolet site and made the same request I made they might get the information out there.

I know, I shouldn't hold my breath that it will happen.

Last edited by grcor; 03-24-2017 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by grcor View Post
I looked on the Chevrolet web site and could not find anything about "Corvette Certified". So 2 days about I sent them an email asking why isn't this information on the site. So far I have not heard back from them. Maybe if enough people got on the Chevrolet site and made the same request I made they might get the information out there.

I know, I shouldn't hold my breath that it will happen.
I don't see why they wouldn't make the info public. What's the point of getting certified if it's a secret to everybody?
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by slickstick View Post
I don't see why they wouldn't make the info public. What's the point of getting certified if it's a secret to everybody?
It's probably because of what Tadge said about each GM dealer being an independent business. Knowing that, there might be legal reasons for not doing it. You might have luck by going to the individual dealer's website to see if they list any info about certification. I blame the stupid car dealership laws for this one.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by millpond View Post
Is there a list of Certified Corvette Dealers?
Some dealers advertise this on their website. If they have a Corvette in their inventory then they are technically supposed to be Corvette Certified.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If they have a Corvette in their inventory then they are technically supposed to be Corvette Certified.
That's not what Tadge said in the very first bullet point in his reply.
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