Chevrolet is busy preparing for the 2020 Corvette Stingray's launch in the coming months, but before flocking to your local showroom, you might want to know that not every single dealer will be cleared to sell the groundbreaking mid-engine sports car.
Jalopnik first reported on Wednesday that dealers will need to become a certified Corvette dealer. That's not new, as Chevy has always required certification to sell the sports car. In fact, the certification process is identical to the requirements for the outgoing C7 Corvette.
To start, a dealer needs to request Corvette certification to start the process, then must complete online courses and attend in-person training. The in-person portion takes place at the Spring Mountain Corvette Driving School in Pahrump, Nevada. There, dealers will drive the new C8 Corvette, take part in classroom learning and compile product knowledge so they know what they're talking about when it comes time to talk about putting a Corvette in someone's driveway. After all, there's nothing worse than dealing with a salesperson who has no clue about a particular car — especially a sports car. Chevy requires that there must always be a Corvette specialist on a certified dealer's staff.
Finally, the service department is required to buy a set of specialized tools to service the sports car. Although the C8-generation Corvette now has its engine mounted in the middle, that tool cost still isn't expected to be outrageous.
A GM spokesperson told Jalopnik the cost will be under $20,000 for any organization that isn't currently a certified Corvette dealer. The cost for additional tools dealers already part of the certified program is "minimal," the spokesman told Jalopnik. According to a report earlier this year from Corvette Blogger, the price for C8 tools is $1,500 for any currently certified Corvette dealer, but GM hasn't confirmed the figure.
This time around, Chevrolet will get a little more in-depth for its certification program. Dealers can apply to become "Signature" Corvette dealers. Per GM's response to Jalopnik, that simply means a franchisee is willing to send more sales personnel, managers and technicians to Spring Mountain for in-person training. For future C8 Corvette Stingray customers, Chevrolet has previously said Signature dealers will have even more special training to bolster the ownership experience, although the details of that training are unclear.
Whether soon-to-be buyers should look for a local Signature dealer to see a difference, we don't yet know. However, it's clear Chevrolet is putting in the effort to make the C8 Corvette buying experience something slightly more exclusive than people get at nearby desks signing papers for an _