Ray Chevrolet again grabs top dealer award
Ray Chevrolet earns GM's top award again
Awards don't happen by accident, especially when they arrive in two consecutive years. That's exactly what has happened to Ray Chevrolet in Fox Lake.
The well-established dealership has been named a Chevrolet Dealer of the Year for 2018, marking the second consecutive year the dealer has achieved this prestigious honor from General Motors Corp. Only 50 of the approximately 5,000 Chevrolet dealerships in the United States receive this award, which is based on exceptional performance in sales, service and customer satisfaction.
Auto Biography Ray ChevroletRay Scarpelli, president39 N. Route 12 Fox Lake (847) 807-1267
Sales hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Friday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday
Service hours: 6:45 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6:45 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday
"It's the first time we've won it back to back," said Ray Scarpelli, dealership president. "This shows we are consistently serving the customers at a high level. Customers are satisfied, so they keep returning."
Ray Chevrolet has operated in downtown Fox Lake for 28 years, adding a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership adjacent to the Chevrolet location several years ago. Three generations of the Scarpelli family have worked at Ray Chevrolet since Raymond J. Scarpelli Sr. established the first dealership in 1991.
The Chevrolet store has experienced similar volume in 2017 and 2018, which Scarpelli attributes to the strong economy as well as to being attentive to customer needs.
"This year, we have also become the largest fleet and commercial Chevrolet dealer in the nation," Scarpelli said. "At least 25% of our sales are fleet sales."
Scarpelli's accomplishments over the past year have included chairing the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. It's an honor one can only achieve once, although he has been on the Chicago Automobile Trade Association board of directors, organizers of the Chicago Auto Show, for nine years. He also sits on the Chevrolet National Dealer Council and attends quarterly meetings where he provides input on business issues affecting the manufacturer.
Not only does Ray Chevrolet have three generations of Scarpellis working in the business, it also has three generations of car buyers.
"It's pretty neat to see parents, children and now grandchildren of our first customers coming in to buy cars," Scarpelli said. "It's really something to think you have provided transportation for three generations of families."
Of course, over those generations, the needs of the car-buying public have changed. Many of today's buyers love SUVs because of their versatility. One of the most popular is the compact Equinox.
"The Equinox is super hot right now," Scarpelli said. "It has been completely redesigned for 2019. It gets great gas mileage and is loaded with safety features that our customers love."
Another perennial favorite is the Silverado pickup truck, which has also received a complete redesign for the current model year. The Silverado has the largest cargo bed among full-size pickup trucks and it also has best-in-class towing and cab room.
Scarpelli attributes the dealership's transparency as one of the prime reasons for its perennial success.
"Customers can look online and get an idea of what they want. We don't change pricing when they come into the showroom," he said. "The price you see online is the price you pay. We hear from a lot of customers who (say) when they've gone into another dealership, the price of a car has changed from the online price because of claims that they don't qualify for rebates or other incentives. That doesn't happen here."
A great buying experience is what it's all about. Scarpelli noted this wouldn't happen without all of his employees being on board. Ray Chevrolet employs about 120 people, including salespersons, technicians, office staff and more.
"All of our employees are committed, from the sales staff to the people who clean the floors," he said. "They're all valued and they're a prime reason why we've been able to remain consistent."
Having a large inventory doesn't hurt, either. At virtually any time, you'll find about 1,200 vehicles on the Ray Chevrolet lot, with the percentage slightly favoring new vehicles. Thus, whether you want an economy vehicle or a luxury sports car, you'll probably be able to find it at Ray Chevrolet.
"If you can't find it here, we're not doing our job," Scarpelli said.
For customers who may be worried about the possibility of price increases if a 25% tariff for automobile parts manufactured in China goes into effect, Scarpelli said he doesn't believe Chevrolet will be adversely affected if that tariff does occur.
"General Motors does a great job of finding a variety of sources for its products, so I don't think there would be a difference in price," he said. "Remember, products from China must be shipped here and that figures into the price. We are sometimes able to get products elsewhere that don't have the same shipping costs."