The entire inventory of new 2014 Corvettes at Murray Chevrolet has already been spoken for, according to Corvette specialist Craig Pucely.
"We delivered our first 2014 Corvette in the fall," he reports. "We will be delivering the bulk of the rest of them in the spring and early summer. We're taking orders now for the 2015 model which should be here in the fall."
Pucely was introduced to the new model in early November at the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School in Pahrump, Nevada, just west of Las Vegas.
"At Pahrump, we learned all about the new Corvette, how it was built. The only carry-overs from its predecessor are the cabin air filter system and the roof latch for the convertible -- and how to drive it properly," Pucely said. "The handling is phenomenal. It makes any driver a good driver."
He said the sales reps who were invited to Pahrump were given 2014 Corvettes as well as other manufacturers' competitive models to test-drive and compare. The Corvettes, he said, noticeably outperformed the competitors' models.
The new Corvette is powered by an LT1 V8 engine that produces 455 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Advanced driver technologies include a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver's environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed.
In front are indirect white LED lamps set in a black-chrome lamp housing with standard HID projector headlamps. The turn signals feature edge-lit amber LED lighting.
The all-new, dual-element tail lamps represent the greatest departure from tradition and are one of the car's most dramatic elements. The taillamps integrate functional, aircraft-style air outlets for the available differential and transmission coolers.
The interior includes real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, two new seat choices -- each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support -- and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens.
"GM increased the Corvette's value while decreasing the price," Pucely said. "This is a real game-changer. It's a winner all the way through."
The base price for the 2014 Corvette is $52,745 (plus freight and pdi). The top of the line model, fully-loaded, costs a little over $80,000.
Pucely noted that the Z51 Performance Package includes an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.
After eight months work and half a million dollars, Murray Chevrolet unveiled its new GM Image look just over a week ago.
"We refreshed the outside of our building as well as some of the inside," said Murray Chev president Dan Murray. "We updated our customer lounge and completely redid our body shop office. Now our customers can go to one central location to access our body shop, parts department and service desk."
Murray said the dealership's webside, murraychevrolet.ca, has been upgraded so that customers can view online every used model in the inventory. The new models are being added to the system over the next few months. Website visitors can also log onto the site 24/7 and receive quick responses.
As of the beginning of January, Murray Chev also added four new sales reps to the showroom floor. Daniel Bean, Cole Brentnall, Amanda Simao and Bill Cole all have gone through the three-month Murray sales training program.
Of the four, Cole brings the most life experience with him to the job. For the past 16 years, Cole was in management with a trucking company.
"I wanted to try something completely different where I could control my own future," he said of the career change. "I'm a good friend of (Murray Chev sales manager) Jim Chewka.
"It has been great here so far," he adds.
Amanda Simao's background has been in auto financing. "I wanted to try auto sales," she says. "I met one of the managers here one evening when I was out for dinner. He suggested I apply here. A lot of people I know in the industry say that Murray is one of the best places to work."
Daniel Bean got his foot in the door by means of a great sales pitch for MTS, where he worked previously. The 28-year-old was trying to sell a Murray Chev business manager on the MTS product.
"My sales pitch was so good that I was offered a sales job here," he said. "I'm off to a great start."
Cole Brentnall came to Murray Chevrolet after a change of ownership at the vehicle body panel supplier he was working for before. "My close friend, Tanner Franklin, works at Murray Chev," he said. "He told me how this dealership is a great place to work."
One other newcomer to the Murray team is Graham McBain, who is assisting Murray sales star Craig Pucely. McBain has completed his first year at the University of Manitoba and is waiting to hear if he's been accepted to the Electrical Engineering program at the Royal Military College in Kingston. In the meantime, he's trying out the auto industry to see if it may be a future career choice for him.
"I'm learning a lot from Craig about being a professional and being consistent," McBain said.
We offer our condolences to Ashok and Annu Dilawri and family on the passing of Ashok's mother, Shushila, in Toronto.