Santa is bringing Corvette enthusiasts an early present.
Chevrolet has announced that all 3,000 of its dealers in the United States are now eligible to sell the 2014 Corvette Stingray – if they want to meet certain rules laid down by the automaker.
That number is up considerably from the 900 dealers who were originally allowed to sell the Stingray starting back in September.
But it remains to be seen how many of the 2,100 dealers who just became eligible to sell the car will be willing to step up to the plate and meet the rigid criteria Chevrolet is demanding.
Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran told Edmunds.com that to sell the Stingray, a dealer must agree to certain rules, including sales and service training requirements.
All dealers – no matter whether they sell one Stingray or 10,000 – face the same criteria, which includes a training session at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Nevada at a cost of $2,000 per participant, plus travel expenses.
Making all the dealers eligible to sell the Stingray probably won’t impact sales that much, since the original 900 dealers accounted for 80 percent of Corvette sales last year. Originally, a dealer had to sell four Corvettes during the 2012 calendar year to sell the car when it was introduced in September.
Those 900 dealers have been pretty successful so far with the Stingray, selling 7,000 of the new seventh-generation Corvette already.
More than likely, a dealership that hasn’t sold many Corvettes in the past won’t sell many Stingrays either, perhaps because of demographics in their area that lessen the demand for a two-seater sports car.
Still, the lure of an exciting new Stingray could help drive traffic to any dealership, Doran believes.
“Even if they don’t have huge numbers for Corvette, they may want to get one just because people want to see it,” Doran said. “It is an opportunity to get people to come into the showroom, obviously to see the new Stingray, but also to see all the other products in the lineup.”