Dealers laud GM’s North American chief Barry Engle for retail skill

For example, Engle came up with the idea to take preorders for the midengine Chevrolet Corvette. Chevy received more than 45,000 preorders through its website that likely will take more than a year to fill.

After the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, Engle, his team and a committee of dealers set out to transform Shop-Click-Drive, GM’s 7-year-old online shopping tool, into a tool for sales. Shop-Click-Drive can’t yet handle a transaction from start to finish, but dealers expect an enhanced version to be ready this summer.

Visits to Shop-Click-Drive have increased 40 percent during the pandemic, CFO Dhivya Suryadevara said last month. About 3,500 GM dealerships have access to the tool, an increase of about 800 since the crisis started and many dealers converted to virtual sales.

“Shop-Click-Drive was a really good lead source, and it was a little bit more than a lead source. It got you some information on the customer,” said Dosanjh, who works with three third-party digital retail vendors across his dealership group. “Where it’s headed, it will be probably one of the best transactional tools in the market.”

The push to enhance Shop-Click-Drive came from dealers, said GM spokesman Joe Jacuzzi. And Engle and his team took note.

“It seems like we had years and years and years of takeaway, takeaway, takeaway. That has stopped,” Bowsher said. “In a lot of cases, Barry has been very helpful with that. We’re now partners again. I have to credit him for a lot of that.”

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