Corvette training drives high-performance sales

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By Eric Tichy
eric@thecorryjournal.com

COLUMBUS TOWNSHIP — Shane Crotty, a sales consultant at Crotty Chevrolet Buick in Columbus Township, said it was an obvious choice when asked if he would take a work trip to Nevada.

Crotty, who has been helping out at the Route 6 family business since he was 14 years old, traveled in January to the Corvette Stingray Dealer Sales Academy at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nev., about an hour west of Las Vegas. The ranch is dubbed the country club for car fanatics.

Crotty said in order to sell the high-performance vehicle, a representative from the dealership had to take a two-day training session at the academy, which included classroom work and in-car driving.

“Every dealership that wants to sell the Corvette Stingray had to send someone,” Crotty said, noting that the dealership also had to designate Stingray specialists from the sales and service departments. “They told me someone had to go out to Nevada, and I said ‘Count me in,’” Crotty said.

According to Chevrolet, 900 dealerships across the country met qualifications to sell the Stingray when it became available over the summer. In order to qualify, the dealership had to sell a certain number of Corvettes. In addition to taking the $2,000 training class in Nevada, service personnel must undergo special training, and dealerships are required to purchase equipment specifically designed to service the cars.

“I was the lucky one picked to go to Nevada to drive the Corvette and experience the handling, performance and technology features which go into every 2014 Corvette,” Crotty said. “We got to learn all about them, too, of course.” Going through the training does have its perks. “If a customer comes in, I will be the Corvette consultant” Crotty said. “I get to inform them just how capable this performance vehicle is, the safety features, and technology Chevrolet has built into the automobile.” Crotty said while in the desert, he had the chance to drive the new model vehicle in a variety of surfaces, including a 2 1/2 mile road course and a wet figure eight course.

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There appears to be a market for the high-performance car locally. Aside from selling enough Corvettes to qualify for the training, Crotty Chevrolet already has an order for the Stingray model. In fact, before Crotty even went out in January, the dealership was aware of some interest in the Stingray. “We had one new one that sold already,” Crotty said. “We’re not sure when we’re going to get our next one, but we’re hoping over the summer.” “We probably sell three or four Corvettes a year,” he continued.

Rob Crotty, who co-owns the dealership with his brother, Chop, said he is excited to be able to sell the Stingray. “We’re very happy,” Rob Crotty said. “We know that our customers are looking for these types of vehicles, so we’re happy that we were able to obtain the special training to sell them.”

Those hoping to get their hands on the 2014 Stingray will need to fork over $51,000 for a base model. The price is still far lower than other high-performance cars in its class.

“It was an experience of a lifetime,” Shane Crotty, son of Chop Crotty, said of the Corvette training. “It was something that ended up being really neat, and not a lot of people get to do it.”