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Why doesn't GM just sell Corvettes at Cadillac dealers in US?

Old 10-16-2018, 01:14 AM
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Default Why doesn't GM just sell Corvettes at Cadillac dealers in US?

The Corvette has been departing it's status as a sport car and becoming more and more of a supercar... As such, I have personally heard a lot of issues with Chevy's dealers properly servicing the cars. I.E. way low oil, way over filled oil, incorrectly lifting the car, damaged rocker panels, other body damage.. etc...

With that said, that leads me to have a few hypothetical questions...

1) Why doesn't GM just sell Corvettes at Cadillac dealers? Don't they do that in Europe?
2) why doesn't GM have specialized Corvette technicians at Cadillac dealers since they naturally have to deal with hgiher end cars.. ats-v, cts-v, etc...

Sorry if this is a dumbass question, but if you buy a new Camaro, Corvette, or Silverado, can you have warranty repairs done at Cadillac dealers?

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Old 10-16-2018, 06:16 AM
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I think they have talked internally about this a lot

I think there are several reasons

1) there are different demographics between Caddy and Chevy dealers. A guy walking into a Caddy dealer isn't necessarily looking for a 2 seat sports car.

2) I think Chevy dealers like having an exclusive halo car

3) Even with the C7 GM limited the Chevy dealers who could sell them. If you didn't sell enough in the past you couldn't get the C7. They are looking for fewer dealers, not more

4) It might be rather expensive to have parts and service ALSO at Caddy dealers

But I am quite sure they will make a Caddy version of the C8 somehow. It will look different but have a lot of the same stuff with more luxury features and interior

Last edited by Sin City; 10-16-2018 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:30 AM
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I think that we’ll see less and less Chevy dealers that sell Corvettes, and each of those dealers should have a sign with Corvette branding on it, either separate from or just below the Chevy sign.

Selling the Corvette in Cadillac dealerships makes it not a Chevrolet, but it’s not a Cadillac. They’d have to make Corvette an official brand, which takes money, resources, and it must have more models than a series of C8s.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sin City View Post
I think they have talked internally about this a lot

I think there are several reasons

1) there are different demographics between Caddy and Chevy dealers. A guy walking into a Caddy dealer isn't necessarily looking for a 2 seat sports car.

2) I think Chevy dealers like having an exclusive halo car

3) Even with the C7 GM limited the Chevy dealers who could sell them. If you didn't sell enough in the past you couldn't get the C7. They are looking for fewer dealers, not more

4) It might be rather expensive to have parts and service ALSO at Caddy dealers

But I am quite sure they will make a Caddy version of the C8 somehow. It will look different but have a lot of the same stuff with more luxury features and interior
Well... I guess my response is the Camaro is no slouch... Keep selling Camaros at Chevy dealers, and sell Corvettes ONLY at Cadillac dealers. Plus, 90% of people waking into Chevy dealers arent buying Corvettes as is right now.. the price bracket for the Corvette is more aligned with Cadillac products.

Originally Posted by Quinten33 View Post
I think that we’ll see less and less Chevy dealers that sell Corvettes, and each of those dealers should have a sign with Corvette branding on it, either separate from or just below the Chevy sign.

Selling the Corvette in Cadillac dealerships makes it not a Chevrolet, but it’s not a Cadillac. They’d have to make Corvette an official brand, which takes money, resources, and it must have more models than a series of C8s.
Well...I don't think it'd cost that much or be that complicated to make corvette it's own mini brand. Not that many dealers really stock Corvettes as is. Even if the c8 is only the mid engine model, I think it'd be pretty simple to only sell it at Cadillac dealers, and just shoot off Corvette into it's own sub brand. I think the fact the Corvettes are so expensive compared to most Chevy products, that it is sort of a dis-service selling it at Chevy dealers. If they sold it only at cadfilac dealers I think it would also give the Corvette a more premium allure at the same time
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:46 AM
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I think the best move is to make Corvette a sub-brand (they've already been moving in this direction, the past few Corvette gens have almost zero Chevrolet badging so you forget its even a Chevrolet).

Corvette can be a sub-brand and yet still sold and serviced at select Cadillac (preferred) or Chevrolet dealerships. Other auto manufacturers already do this.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:56 AM
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Chevy dealers suck. They're only good for pickup trucks. Because that's how they threat your $100,000+ Corvette.
Just like Toyota did with Lexus, Corvette should be either in Cadillac or Sub-brand name.
But it's too late now. That car is being made under Chevy name and parts.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:58 AM
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The Corvette is a Chevrolet even though they do not put an obvious bowtie on it.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:59 AM
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My experience is that Cadillac dealer service was nothing more than Chevy standards with higher prices (and nicer waiting rooms). That's why our 'back seat' cars have been high end Euros since the mid 1980's.

We've had over a dozen Corvettes since 1968 and the only significant 'downside' was/is having to go to the Chevy store for service. While they seem to try, that high volume 'herd' mentality is difficult to overcome. When you show up with a near $100K car, you're still just one person/vehicle in a mob scene.

Trust me..... it's VERY different at the Mercedes store, not to mention Jaguar, Ferrari and Aston Martin. Yeah, you pay a bit more, but you're treated like they really value your business and care about you AND your car.

Here's something GM could try.... At our local MB store, EVERY new hire (management through janitorial) has to go through 3 days of customer satisfaction/customer focus training BEFORE they start. It includes everything from customer etiquette, grooming, work place appearance, and customer interaction. They get paid while undergoing the training too! Why do you think their service is better? By the way, it's also a part of their incentive compensation. Heck the Chevy store doesn't teach the 'grease monkeys' the difference between a conventional and 'dry sump' oil change!
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:03 AM
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I think if you sub branded anything, it would be all performance variants. Corvette, V series and Camaro. Have it fall under the "Performance" brand and have specialized staff. After all, V series cars now are Alpha's just like Camaro. Corvette slots in nicely. If GM wants to give it a go, I'll volunteer.

The real issue in my mind is the lack of cohesion between Performance, Sales, service and parts. I actually oversee the cars in all departments so if someone is coming in for a track prep, I see it through and discuss specs to fit what track the car is going to. Consolidating that experience helps customers quite a bit. If they don't have the house divided, they're more likely to come back.

The key is having someone who is acclimated to the cars both statistically and dynamically. Most people can study an order guide, very few can understand the handling, cooling, and driving dynamics of those platforms. Go talk to any of the "Top" Vette salesman and ask them to explain dynamic toe change or ride steer. These reasons are why people come to us. I have a National Champion SCCA autocrosser coming to trade in his car he bought from one of the "Top" vette guys because I built the car to do what he wants it to and understand the driving dynamics. He's driving 5 hours further to deal with me than he has to.

The formula is simple in my opinion. Finding the right guy to do that, different story. So far, I don't know anyone else that would be able to tackle that job.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:39 AM
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We are fortunate in the Central New York area to have numerous Chevrolet dealers to choose from - and three of them are sponsors of our local Corvette Club. It takes a little effort on the part of the Corvette owner, but between preliminary visits to prospective dealers and service departments of choice, and networking among club members, it quickly becomes apparent which dealerships have one or more "Corvette Guys" who specialize in our cars and know what the hell they're doing. In most cases they are C7 owners themselves. Find those guys. Go there.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:55 AM
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Thanks Al, now I know where I'll be buying my C8. Redford is a bit far but so far every Chevy dealer I've dealt with is nice but clueless or, in the case of Sundance, puts out a vibe like it's run by mobsters.


Honestly I think GM should go to the Tesla direct sales model. It gives them complete control over the presentation and customer support for their product. Dealer middle men result in a buffer between GM and product reliability and customer service. One bad dealer can turn thousands of customers away from GM cars for life. Non-warranty repairs are hidden from the engineers and the dealers love the cash flow. It's all one great sh tshow.

A GM performance brand would be the perfect beginning for GM to open their own showrooms for direct sales.

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Old 10-16-2018, 12:11 PM
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John Erwin at Greico Chevrolet in Ft Lauderdale is the best Corvette mechanic in the south. He has been there since the early 80s where we held our NCCC meets. It was Gary Fronrath Chev then.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaro Tundov View Post
Thanks Al, now I know where I'll be buying my C8. Redford is a bit far but so far every Chevy dealer I've dealt with is nice but clueless or, in the case of Sundance, puts out a vibe like it's run by mobsters.


Honestly I think GM should go to the Tesla direct sales model. It gives them complete control over the presentation and customer support for their product. Dealer middle men result in a buffer between GM and product reliability and customer service. One bad dealer can turn thousands of customers away from GM cars for life. Non-warranty repairs are hidden from the engineers and the dealers love the cash flow. It's all one great sh tshow.

A GM performance brand would be the perfect beginning for GM to open their own showrooms for direct sales.
Don't get me wrong, I hate dealers, but I think this is a bit pie in the sky. It would cost a fortune for them to go around the existing dealer network.

I think the most reasonable thing would be if they started selling Corvettes at Cadillac dealers and also had better Cadillac dealer staff... I have had relatively good experience with Lexus dealer service... How was Lexus able to pull it off?
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ArmchairArchitect View Post
I think the best move is to make Corvette a sub-brand (they've already been moving in this direction, the past few Corvette gens have almost zero Chevrolet badging so you forget its even a Chevrolet).

Corvette can be a sub-brand and yet still sold and serviced at select Cadillac (preferred) or Chevrolet dealerships. Other auto manufacturers already do this.
It's no accident they brought back (and stressed it) the Stingray name. When was the last Corvette specifically (even in marketing) tied to the Stingray name?

That's why I think we will (eventually if not right away) see both a FE and ME car, both called Corvettes, but the FE one called Stingray and the ME Manta Ray or Zora (I'm betting on Zora).

From there, changing the dealer network, or splitting it (Corvette) off to it's own sub brand and selling at Caddy dealers wouldn't be an end of the world situation. I know the "local" Caddy dealer experience (at all levels) is a million times better than the local Chevy dealer.

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Old 10-16-2018, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sin City View Post
I think they have talked internally about this a lot

I think there are several reasons

1) there are different demographics between Caddy and Chevy dealers. A guy walking into a Caddy dealer isn't necessarily looking for a 2 seat sports car.

2) I think Chevy dealers like having an exclusive halo car

3) Even with the C7 GM limited the Chevy dealers who could sell them. If you didn't sell enough in the past you couldn't get the C7. They are looking for fewer dealers, not more

4) It might be rather expensive to have parts and service ALSO at Caddy dealers

But I am quite sure they will make a Caddy version of the C8 somehow. It will look different but have a lot of the same stuff with more luxury features and interior
Well Cadillac did that. Remember the XLR? Built on the Corvette assembly line using a number of C-6 Corvette parts but designed and badged as a Cadillac. Technicians were specially trained to work on them as they were so different from the rest of Cadillac’s product line. GM made about 10 Corvettes for every XLR built during the production run. They built them from 2004 to 2009. I owned 2 of them, but it became clear that GM was not going to support them in parts or continued technician training.
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
Don't get me wrong, I hate dealers, but I think this is a bit pie in the sky. It would cost a fortune for them to go around the existing dealer network.

I think the most reasonable thing would be if they started selling Corvettes at Cadillac dealers and also had better Cadillac dealer staff... I have had relatively good experience with Lexus dealer service... How was Lexus able to pull it off?
I think the only real issue there is what makes a Cadillac staff better suited for Corvette? Outside of a few heavy hitters(Sewell Cadillac) that deal in V cars, how would the situation improve? Furthermore, what if Cadillac has a platform sharing Halo car with Corvette? It may not be confirmed but I've said since Johan took the job, we're going to end up with an R8 competitor. I know hes gone but I have a hard time thinking that there wont be a Cadillac that accompanies the C8. I have no way to substantiate that other than a guess from a guy that has been in the business for a lot of years.

I think the same challenge exists for caddy as Chevy. It's going to take someone to care to be involved at all levels of the dealer.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:02 PM
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Corvette will always be Chevrolet's halo car. That will NEVER change. smoking 420 puts strange thoughts in peoples heads
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaro Tundov View Post
Thanks Al, now I know where I'll be buying my C8. Redford is a bit far but so far every Chevy dealer I've dealt with is nice but clueless or, in the case of Sundance, puts out a vibe like it's run by mobsters.


Honestly I think GM should go to the Tesla direct sales model. It gives them complete control over the presentation and customer support for their product. Dealer middle men result in a buffer between GM and product reliability and customer service. One bad dealer can turn thousands of customers away from GM cars for life. Non-warranty repairs are hidden from the engineers and the dealers love the cash flow. It's all one great sh tshow.

A GM performance brand would be the perfect beginning for GM to open their own showrooms for direct sales.
I'll make it worth your while. People bring me cars from 100+ miles away just for service because we care and take our time.

The Direct sales model does lose some of the cohesiveness that I think that Corvette deserves between Service, sales, and parts. It may work but I've also sat with people for 5 hours discussing options and being questioned about my opinion regarding equipment. I like having input and helping people decide whats best for them. How mad would you be if you bought a Z07 package and spent $5000 grand more than you had to if you just wanted J57 brakes? The unfortunate part is that the order guide on Corvette is so incredibly complex and custom is that you do need some help to get it all right and not have questions.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I think the only real issue there is what makes a Cadillac staff better suited for Corvette? Outside of a few heavy hitters(Sewell Cadillac) that deal in V cars, how would the situation improve? Furthermore, what if Cadillac has a platform sharing Halo car with Corvette? It may not be confirmed but I've said since Johan took the job, we're going to end up with an R8 competitor. I know hes gone but I have a hard time thinking that there wont be a Cadillac that accompanies the C8. I have no way to substantiate that other than a guess from a guy that has been in the business for a lot of years.

I think the same challenge exists for caddy as Chevy. It's going to take someone to care to be involved at all levels of the dealer.
I think the simple fact that most Chevy products are way cheaper than Corvettes. That fact alone is why I believe it would be smart for GM to market the Corvette for sale at Cadillac dealers (and maybe a few select premium Chevy dealers).

​​​​​The staff at a typical Chevy dealer usually do not deal with Corvettes and that is a HUGE turn off for me as a buyer. If GM made an actual effort to improve the Cadillac dealer service experience, maybe I would actually buy a brand new c8 and be more likely to use their dealer services.

Furthermore, if they were to create this "brand" of Corvette, and sell it at Cadillac dealers, there would be zero reason to build a "Cadillac" version of the c8....

​​​​​​You can't argue with the fact it's very off-putting that I would take my $150k zr1 to a Chevy dealer that usually services Chevy Malibus and impalas.... I mean come on.

From a business perspective, it makes sense to me.. if they want Cadillac to compete more with the other luxury brands, they need to improve their service across the board. And fine, leave the Chevy dealer service technicians and whatnot to be more basic and not invest a ton of $$ there.. but Cadillac is a premium brand for GM and needs some better service if they want to truly make Cadillac a better brand. The whole "corvette" becoming it's own brand and possibly being sold at cadillac dealers folds right into this.. know what I'm saying?

in summary (my speculation and suggestion to GM)
1) Chevy dealers.. leave as is
2) Make Corvette it's own "brand"
3) sell Corvettes at Cadillac dealers and possibly certain high volume, established, premium Corvette dealers
4) improve Cadillac dealer service experience, look @ Lexus dealers as model.. which in my mind includes having at least one Corvette specialist technician at each Cadillac dealer
5) don't make Cadillac version of c8, just knock the c8 out of the park from the start

If GM was smart they'd do what I listed above. I know it's a $$ maker and would potentially work better in the long term than their old way, $$ wise and customer satisfaction.

GM, I will accept a c8 as form of payment for my consulting services above.

Last edited by mammoth713; 10-16-2018 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:30 PM
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Much as not every Mercedes Benz dealership is also an AMG dealer, the same should be enacted for Chevrolet dealers re: being able to sell/service the Corvette.

How many dealerships to this day(!) don't know that rear caster is adjustable on the C7 version, or have made the minimal investment necessary to perform an accurate alignment?

How many don't check the fluid levels; (rear diff anyone?), as they should during a PDI?

How many dealerships don't give a damn when an owner asks specifically for Mobil 1 oil; (the recommended oil btw), and only wants to dump in their 'Dextros' oil?

The C7 Corvette is such an incredible car. Build standards/materials many times are very close to 'Germanic' levels, and the 'Performance' is staggering. What the car and Corvette brand needs though is the commitment from GM, and a dealership that wishes to sell the car, to the highest standards of Sales and Service. Sadly even a good sales experience is ruined by poor after sales servicing, and it happens all to often.

Bish
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