14 June 2007

Test Driving The 2007 Chevrolet Corvette

Here's the review-

Yup. That's it.

Why is there no review you ask? Very simple. The local Chevrolet/Cadillac dealer in the area doesn't allow for new Corvettes to be test driven. At all. Now in my specific case, this isn't an issue, since I'm not buying such a vehicle. But I bring up a salient point at this time- I wasn't alone, and the person I was with WAS very much in the market for such a car. Also on his shopping list? The Cayman. Possibly the 911. The BMW Z4. The Mercedes SLK350. All sports cars, some of them more expensive than the Corvette, some cheaper.

Thus far, he had driven the Z4 and the SLK, and had an appointment set up with the local Porsche dealer to drive a Cayman (which was going to be moved out of the showroom just so he could drive it). Upon arrival at the Chevy dealer, we were approached by the salesperson, who promptly looked up if he had stock of what was required- a convertible Corvette with a stick. Lo and behold, he had one. And then the fun began:

Sales- So I've got one on the lot- what can I do for you?
Client- Well, I'd like to take it out for a test drive to get a feel for how it compares to the other vehicles I'm cross shopping.
Sales- We don't allow new Corvettes on test drives. But if you'd like, I have a used 2002 Corvette we can take out.
Client- (incredulous laugh)
Sales- No one ever asks for a test drive because they know they want it already.
Client- You're serious? You're actually assuming I will disregard the competition and lay down $70k on the spot today without a test drive because it's a Corvette?
Sales- Well, would YOU like it if your new Corvette had 500km on it when you bought it brand new? Plus, these are very expensive cars!
Client- So wait, you won't even let me test drive it with you in the car with me?
Sales- No.
Client- See you later.


So ended another unsuccessful sales call with a GM minion. The last time I saw a dealer act this way was at the downtown Lambo dealership- but then again, it's a Lambo. But a Chevy dealer???

Note to Bob Lutz- make your cars as great as you want- you still need to fix the sales departments outside of Saturn.


Anonymous said...

They have good reason not to allow a test drive for someone who hasnt even gotten a little into the purchasing process. I would be suprised if they wouldnt allow a drive down the road before you had them a check. They probably get people from all walks of life trying to test drive a vette for the fun of it and try and keep things tight and limited to real deal customers. And he does have a point, someone looking to buy a Vette has already made up their mind and doesnt nessecarly need to get behind the wheel when they are just "Browsing."

Local Ford dealership wont allow Mustang GTs to be test driven unless you start fillinf paperwork. You can change your mind and back out of the deal, but they just dont want to hand the keys to anyone who decides the feel like driving a new Mustang for the hell of it.

If they let you drive the Z06, they would have to let the next guy..and then the 22 year old kid..then his buddy, and his buddy, and his cousin.

You go to a Chevy lot, you could be shopping for a Malibu and decide you want to take a Vette for a tesdrive, just for kicks..You dont see that type of "browser" at a Mercedes lot.

Mags said...

I don't buy the excuse. The Vette is not some untouchable sports car- there are many competitors out there for it, some far more expensive, some cheaper.And MB and BMW dealerships have vehicles starting in the low 30's too.

Your point about paperwork is valid- MB makes you fill out reams of paperwork, especially if you want to go out without a salesperson... but this dealership didn't even entertain the thought of that.

I get what you're saying- at some point they will let you test one out, but this guy didn't seem to subscribe to that idea- he was pretty adamant that no test drives were ever allowed on new Vettes- and for the record, it's not me buying- it's a friend who is in the middle of the buying process right now.

HoeyHimself said...

Well there is no argument that the state of dealership experiences is poor and could use more structure. Perhaps the hand of the manufacturer to keep these dealers representing the products with higher standards. I can understand limiting the test drives of any car because I know so many that just go do it for fun with no intentions on purchasing, but if you spend 45 minutes listening to the sales pitch and BS..the least they can do is let you take it down the block, sure. But like posted above, you allow one person and then you have to allow everyone...the test drive experience has been abused by too many people that are not even in the market for a car. Maybe if they could run quick credit checks it would weed out some of the people who they could turn down.

69Firebird400 said...

I actually would very much like to buy a new Corvette next year, but it did occur to me that although I've read countless reviews of them, the newest Corvette I've ever driven was a 1998. They're not the same thing. I know there are some dealers out there (EVS Chevrolet in Random Lake, WI, for example) who specialize in Corvettes and keep a decent inventory and have a good allocation of them. I'm sure dealers like these can treat the Corvette and its owners (or potential owners) with the proper amount of respect and service.