ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chevrolet is offering dealers Standards for Excellence money in return for upgrading or rebuilding their stores, dealers say.
At the make meeting at the NADA convention last week, executives outlined a program to standardize and upgrade all Chevrolet stores.
"It's good for them, and it's good for us," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet's general manager. "Statistics will tell you if someone builds a new facility, their business will pick up exponentially the year or two after they build the new facility. It ends up paying for itself."
If a Chevrolet dealer agrees to upgrade a facility, GM will defray part of the cost by boosting the Standards for Excellence money the dealer earns, says Gordon Stewart, head of Stewart Management Company in Harper Woods, Mich. GM will double the contribution if a dealer builds a new store, he said.
Stewart said only 78 Chevrolet dealers have agreed to the upgrade program so far. The new offer is intended to sweeten the idea, he said.
"There's a normal attrition to your business, and at some point you have to update your stores because it's just good business," Stewart said.
GM wants dealers to standardize stores with new exteriors and a new showroom; add tile floors; have specific furniture for sales staff and customer lounges; and offer an accessories area, Peper told dealers at the make meeting.
Stewart said he'll do it if the "money is right"- meaning if GM ends up covering 20 to 25 percent of his cost. But other dealers hesitate.
"It's a lot of money," said Scott Brasher, general manager of Brasher Motor Co. in Weimar, Texas. "I understand their point of view, but it's a lot of capital to put up."
Peper said that dealers could spend $1 million to $4 million to upgrade or build new showrooms this year and that projects could take up to two years to complete.
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