Corvette Dealers Debate Customer Loyalty Versus Profiteering
While we’ve all seen pictures and videos of the 2014 Corvette C7 testing (and sometimes crashing) on public streets, there are still a couple more months before these cars show up on dealership lots. That hasn’t stopped thousands of excited Corvette fans from flooding dealerships to place their orders however, and some customers are finding that certain dealerships favor a one-time windfall over longtime customer loyalty.
Automotive News reports that many Chevy dealers are already up marking the 2014 Corvette Stingray by as much as $10,000. But other dealers, including one of the largest Corvette sellers in the country, are sticking with the MSRP in a sign of loyalty to repeat customers.
With just 12,000 units up for grabs this year, demand is expected to be strong all the way through 2014, when GM will roll out 30,000 Corvettes. But many of those are earmarked for overseas sale, meaning the waiting list for a new ‘Vette can be months long. That has some buyers willing to shell out $5,000, $10,000, or more over the MSRP just for the privilege of being “early adopters.”
While some dealerships, like Coughlin Chevrolet in Ohio, are sticking to the MSRP numbers despite having around 100 orders on hand, other dealerships are sending “mystery shoppers” to rival dealerships to get price quotes. An anonymous dealership manager says his shoppers were quoted as high as $20,000 over list price, so his managers have decided to jack their Corvette prices up by “only” half that.
Customers know they’re getting gouged though, and that can have a lasting effect on sales. Many customers might not return to buy their next car, knowing they were overcharged $10,000 on a car that starts at just $51,995. Are the temporary profits worth it? To many sales managers, yes, once again confirming that car dealers can be among the lowest forms of life on the planet Earth.