Real Stories From Life at a Dealership

People are the experience


Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


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The sign above the car lot read. ‘Yes we have cars under a $1,000.00’ No big mystery here, were talking about basic transportation. Not how far or how fast, just it does runs. This is a niche that definitely needs filling again today like it did 20 years ago.


Bob always greeted people with a smile, like a lot of us who are happy to see people wanting to do business. Most everyday he moved a few cars up front to give the lot a fresh look to the people driving by. Some cars had specific parking places as to fit their specific positive attributes, showing the non-dented side to the camera for pictures. The blue station wagon was one such car. It was always parked facing the street, mostly because it had no reverse.


A sunny Saturday on the lot and a couple comes in. They tell Bob that they have very little money and need a car. Bob shows them the blue station wagon. The right size, the right price, let’s see how it drives. Bob gives them a little route to go on and asks them to park in front. After the drive it’s all smiles. Bob inks the customers up and away they drive.


Almost two years go by and Bob is on the lot showing a car to a fresh customer when the people in the blue station wagon show up. “Hi Bob, we’re back” they say with a smile. Being a one man operation, Bob is working between two customers now. So Bob suggest that they take a nice brown sedan for a drive and goes back to the first customer. After a few minutes Bob notices that they are still standing next to the brown sedan. “Go ahead folks, take it for a spin” and goes back to the other customer.


It takes a few minutes for Bob to realize that they are not taking the brown sedan for a drive. So Bob excuses himself from the first customer and goes over to see why they aren’t driving it yet. As Bob walks up to them, they ask, “Could you please pull this out for us, we haven’t backed a car up in a couple of years”.




May 20, 2009 Posted by | car sales, eric prothro, jamestown ca, sierra motors, station wagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Sympathy

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 


Never underestimate the power of sympathy in the course of a sale.

How is your office decorated? In a sales office on the showroom floor, what would be appropriate? Tom decided to put up a display of license plates. It looked to be about 25 to 30 of them. Many different states and years, so there were different colors and numbering. In a business environment where anything you say or do can be used against you this seemed safe.

  So Tom has a customer in his office. He has already gone through most of the steps to a sale and is on the paperwork phase. He gets to a stopping point and takes his worksheet and related paperwork into the desking manager. Tom always had great report with his customers. So I saw an opening and went in.

 I offered the nice lady a typical friendly greeting, followed by an offer to get her something to drink. She said everything was fine. I noticed that she was looking at the wall of license plates. I offered, “Tom’s a nice guy isn’t he”? “Oh yes” she replied. “I see you noticed all of his License plates”, “quite a collection”. “Did Tom tell you about them” I asked innocently? “Why no” was the answer.


I interjected, “Every family has its Black Sheep. In Tom’s family it’s his Father. Tom’s dad has done more than a little time if you know what I mean. So Tom has collected a license plate from every state where he has been incarcerated.”


Amazed she said, “Wow, that’s quite a few”. Looking for away to go I tossed up, “That’s why selling cars is so important to Tom, because it’s his only connection to his father. Tom takes every sale personal.”  I thanked her for her time and was out of the office before Tom ever knew I was in there. Of course talking to another person’s customer is against the rules.

 When Tom went back into the sales booth the customers tone was different. She explained to Tom that every family had its black sheep. She kept commenting on the license plate collection. She asked Tom about his father having a rough life?  As he completed the sale, she kept trying to comfort Tom. When the transaction was finished, Tom came in and said that it was the weirdest thing, that during the entire close she was interested in was his license plate collection, and for some reason she sure was interested in his Father.

 What started out as a bit of a joke on Tom, turned into a playhouse move on the customer. Never underestimate the power of sympathy in the course of a sale.

May 13, 2009 Posted by | eric prothro, license plates, sierra motors | , , , , | 4 Comments

The Legacy of Jack

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


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The Legacy of Jack

 Who is the most important co-worker that you have ever worked with? Most of us have worked with a lot of people, hundreds at least, maybe, over a thousand. Some of them have been very memorable, some you would like to forget. But who has actually affected your job and life? Let me tell you about Jack.

 In 1983, when I broke into the car business, the top dog in the store was Jack. He sold the most. He was there the longest. He took care of all of the Owners’ personal customers. He had a customer following that seemed like an endless supply of buyers. When we went through training, Jack trained us on the delivery process. He was a master of going over the new car in a methodical, yet comforting delivery that would ensure repeat business.

 Jack openly stated that one of his best skills was that of a bus driver. Not the public transportation kind, but the “If you don’t do things my way you will get run over by the bus named Jack” kind. He was even complete with sound effects. Whenever someone was about to be or had just been run over by the bus, Jack would come out to wherever was the biggest group of people and simulate the sound of a bus going through the gears and then running over something with a “thump, thump” sound. He would do the bus braking, putting it in reverse and backing over the victim again. Then he’d pull forward again to run over the poor schmuck a third time. All with the “thump, thump”. He smiled and loved to make a public display of all who opposed him or maybe talked to one of “HIS” customers.

 My Uncle Corky was in the dealership looking to order a new Corvette. He was working with Jack and realized that I worked there. So he told Jack that he would really like to buy from me if possible. Jack amazingly said no problem. He got me involved and walked me through the process of making my first factory order. Everything was finished, we took the deposit and said good-bye to my Uncle. My first week on the job and I already had a Corvette order. Jack was very polite and accommodating.


 Jack then pulled me aside and explained to me that the Corvette order would take at least a couple of months and in no uncertain terms that I would no longer be there and he would get the sale anyway. Then he walked away. I realized that this business might be a little tougher than I had anticipated, but I was no quitter. Let’s dance.

 It was about a month later when things came to a boil. Saturday lunch had just arrived for the sales department. The store used to buy lunch for the sales department on Saturdays. Jack went to get his. When he opened it up somebody had taken a bite out of his sandwich. Jack was out raged,” Nobody touches my lunch.” Jack started literally screaming that whoever did this was going to be fired. He was making an unbelievable scene over a free lunch. The store manager came to see what all the yelling was about, he ran into raving maniac Jack. The manager asked Jack to quiet down and explain to him what had happened.

 Just being questioned at all sent Jack into a complete frenzy. Then the threats started. Fire whoever did this or you all will be gone. Then he came up with his best idea yet, fix this immediately or I will quit and go over to your competitor and take all of my business with me and put the whole dealership out of business. Jack was really proud of himself. “That’s it…I quit” yelled Jack. He assumed that when the owners found out what had happened that they would beg him to come back. He thought that this brilliant move would totally solidify his already lofty position. I guess they didn’t feel the same way.

 The first thing that I noticed when I came to work Monday morning was that the dealership wasn’t closed. It was business as usual. A customer came in and asked for Jack. Someone else took care of them and sold the car. It actually got better without Jack. It became what was best for the store not Jack. When my uncle’s Corvette came in I was the one still working there and delivered it to him. The first of six Corvettes he bought from us.  Jack didn’t fair well at the other dealership. Most of the customers didn’t follow him. He only stayed in the business a little longer. I heard that he became a prison guard.

 I have always remembered what my Mom would call “getting too big for your britches”. Nobody should think that they are the business. It can and will survive without me or anyone else. I’m better off as a servant of all of those that work with me, to help them prosper. To get the customer what they want & need.

 Most importantly…Don’t be a “Jack”…



May 11, 2009 Posted by | 1984 corvette, Chevrolet, customer satisfaction, dealerships, eric prothro, jamestown, motherlode, sierra motors | , , , , , | 2 Comments

2010 Chevy Camaro Only 31857.00 Sierra Motors, Jamestown Ca.

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 





Baltimore Autos Examiner

Very 1st 2010 Chevrolet Camaro delivered

May 3, 6:31 PM

2010 (GM) Chevrolet Camaro

NASCAR team owner and long-time Chevrolet dealer, Rick Hendrick recently took delivery of the first 2010 Camaro to ever roll off the line at Oshawa Assembly. The event took place at the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich. Hendrick won the right to claim the first Camaro after offering $350,000 for the vehicle in a charity auction. The money goes to the American Heart Association.

Hendrick said the charity angle was nice, but he really wanted Camaro #1. “It was for a great cause, but I will have to say I was there to get that car. I wanted that Camaro extremely bad because I have a collection and I am a Chevrolet dealer and I just wanted that first Camaro.”

Hendrick also said his dealerships have orders for more than 200 Camaro’s and he believes it will be a great showroom draw. “You’re going to find a lot of different people want to buy them. You going to find young kids are going to want them just because they are cool looking. You’re going to find a lot of enthusiasts want them because they’ve got that retro look and they are performance cars at the same time,” Hendrick said.

Hendrick says Camaro #1 will be put on display at his motor sports museum for public viewing.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | eric prothro | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2010 Camaro RS

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 




On any Saturday the dealership expects traffic to pick up significantly. Not so lately. This weekend was different. Why? Sitting front and center is the star of our franchise; the 2010 Camaro RS. Customers came to see the Camaro, Young and old. Affluent and base. It actually makes people feel good to see it.


For a multiplicity of reasons, from waxing nostalgic, to I just want to feel better about what an American company is capable of doing. How can you not feel good? With both classic late 60’s lines and a bold fresh look that just says yes. Yes, this is how I want to feel. Yes, this is how I want to look. Yes this is what I’ve always wanted. Yes it’s one of the rare times when the Id and the Ego can exist in the same space.


The smile on the faces of the people when they see the 2010 Camaro is unmistakable. It’s one that you don’t see too often these days. The Camaro has a 29 mpg rating and a price under $30,000, affordability and economy along with beauty. It is when the unattainable dream is suddenly within your grasp.


My advice to you is simple. Live the dream. Drive the new Camaro. The dream date that you never got to go on is here, ready, waiting and happy to go.


—-  Specifications  —-






6.2 liter V8


3860 lbs




408 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm


422 hp @ 5000 rpm


9.1 lbs per hp


68.1 hp per liter

1/4 mile 

0-62 mph 

Top Speed 

(from Chevrolet Press Release)  Chevrolet Unveils The 2010 Camaro – A Fun, Efficient Sports Car For The 21st Century

  • All-new, world-class sports car

  • Fuel-efficient, 3.6L direct-injected V-6 delivers an estimated 26 mpg on the highway

  • Range of fuel-saving, six-speed transmissions standard on all models and powertrains

  • Powerful SS models equipped with LS3 V-8 (manual transmission) and L99 with Active Fuel Management

  • Advanced vehicle technology, including Bluetooth

  • Designed, engineered and built with GM’s global development process

Advanced powertrain technologies, including engines with direct injection and Active Fuel Management, enable a satisfying balance of exhilarating performance and good fuel economy.

“The new Chevrolet Camaro delivers a thoroughly modern, advanced package of performance, comfort and technology,” said Peper. “It’s a sports car for a new generation of enthusiasts that doesn’t forget the heritage that helped make the original a cultural icon . That is no small feat and it took a worldwide commitment to achieve it.”

Indeed, the 2010 Camaro exemplifies GM’s global development process. The design concept originated in the United States; engineering was directed by GM’s global rear-wheel-drive team in Australia; validation was conducted on roads around the world and assembly will take place at GM’s award-winning Oshawa facility in Canada.



Product highlights include:

  • Sleek styling with contemporary cues and 10 available exterior colors

  • LS and LT models offered with an advanced, 3.6L direct-injected V-6 engine with variable valve timing and a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions

  • SS model offered with 6.2L V-8 – including fuel-saving Active Fuel Management on automatic-equipped combinations – and a six-speed manual transmission

  • Four-wheel independent suspension system, including a 4.5-link rear suspension

  • Variable-rate power steering with the rack mounted forward of the front axle for greater driver feel

  • Four-wheel disc brake systems standard on all models, including four-piston Brembo calipers on SS models

  • Stabilitrak stability control system and traction control standard on all models

  • Competitive/Sport modes for the stability system offered on SS models, including launch control on SS models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission

  • Family of 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels

  • Detailed interior with heritage-inspired design, excellent attention to detail and available ambient lighting via LED light pipe technology

  • Robust body structure and exceptional build quality

  • Six standard air bags, including head curtain side-impact air bags and front seat-mounted thorax side air bags

  • RS appearance package available on LT and SS, including HID headlamps with integrated halo rings, spoiler, specific taillamps and 20-inch wheels

The new Camaro also has technologies that enhance performance, comfort and convenience, including:

  • Bluetooth phone connectivity

  • Premium Boston Acoustics audio system

  • USB connectivity

  • Ultrasonic rear parking assist (late introduction)

  • Remote vehicle starting system

  • OnStar

  • XM Satellite Radio

  • Additionally, details such as frameless door windows with automatic indexing glass contribute to the overall feeling of quality, substance and technical prowess.

Design details

With a design that is very faithful to the original concept, the 2010 Camaro is a 21 st century sports car that acknowledges its heritage. A long front dash-to-axle and short rear deck give the Camaro classic proportions, while a sleek windshield profile, wheels pushed to the corners and muscular fender forms are modern elements that reinforce its advanced engineering – and give the car a decidedly aggressive stance.
Elements such as a forward-V shape at the front of the car and “gills” in the rear quarter panels are distinctly Camaro cues, as are the broad rear fender “shoulders.” Those elements make the new Camaro instantly recognizable, but their execution is smoothly integrated into the contemporary exterior form. A family of large, 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels also contributes to the Camaro’s modern appearance.
“The new Camaro is just that – new,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. “We acknowledge the nameplate’s strong heritage in the design, but recognize that keeping this modern sports car relevant meant more than simply honoring a classic car. The line forms, stance and overall execution are consistent with other new Chevrolets.”

A well-executed balance of heritage, modern design and attention to detail also characterizes the Camaro’s interior. A pair of deeply recessed instrument binnacles that feature round gauges in square housings is a nod to classic Camaros, while an available ambient light package offers advanced LED light pipe technology to give the cabin a distinctive and inviting glow. Cloth upholstery is standard; heated leather-appointed seats are available.

Details such as large, chrome-trimmed controls, low-gloss surfaces and premium fabric or acrylic appliqués convey a richness that is unprecedented in previous Camaro models – and challenge its contemporary competitors. More great detail is evidenced in the available center-console gauge cluster, which takes its cue from a similar option on 1969 Camaros. It displays oil temperature, oil pressure, state-of-battery and transmission fluid temperature, all highlighted with modern LED backlighting.



An advanced, efficient 3.6L direct-injected V-6 with variable valve timing is standard on LS and LT models. Direct injection technology helps the engine deliver more power through increased efficiency, while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions. That means less fuel is consumed and lower emissions generated – including a 25-percent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions.
The Camaro’s 3.6L engine also employs variable valve timing to optimize performance and fuel economy across the rpm range. It is rated at an estimated 300 horsepower (224 kW) and 273 lb.-ft. of torque (370 Nm). A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the 3.6L engine; a Hydra-Matic 6L50 electronically controlled six-speed automatic, with TAPshift control, is available.
The high-performance Camaro SS is equipped with a powerful 6.2L V-8, with a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Standard, manual transmission-equipped models receive the LS3 engine, estimated at 422 horsepower (315 kW) and 408 lb.-ft. of torque (553 Nm). The LS3 debuted on the 2008 Corvette and uses high-flow cylinder heads based on the Corvette Z06’s LS7 engine to enable great low-end torque and high-rpm power. It is paired with a TR6060 six-speed transmission.

A new, L99 V-8 engine is used on automatic transmission-equipped SS models. It is based on the LS3 and carries all of its high-performance design features, but also includes GM’s fuel-saving Active Fuel Management feature. It enables the engine to run on only four cylinders during light-load driving conditions, such as highway cruising, to improve fuel economy. The V-8 is estimated at 400 horsepower (299 kW) and 395 lb.-ft. of torque (535 Nm); and it is matched with a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed transmission. This combination delivers an estimated 23 mpg on the highway.

Body structure and chassis


The 2010 Camaro is built on GM’s global rear-wheel-drive architecture, with a strong body structure that enhances safety, quietness and handling. World-class build quality and attention to detail are enabled by features including one-piece body side stampings and very precise tolerances between body panels.
Front and rear independent suspensions are mounted to the rigid chassis, including a multi-link strut arrangement in the front with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and a double ball-joint configuration; and a unique, 4.5-link rear suspension that is double-isolated from the chassis for smoother, quieter driving experience.
Camaro offers two suspensions. LS and LT models receive an FE2 (sport) suspension, while the SS receives the FE3 (performance) suspension, including a lower ride height. Each is tuned to match the performance capabilities of their respective powertrains, as are their wheel-and-tire combinations.

A variable-rate rack-and-pinion power steering system mounts the rack forward of the front axle, for more direct action, an enhanced feeling of driver feedback and better weight balance.

Brakes and chassis control


Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard on all models. LS and LT models receive single-piston calipers all around, with mass-reducing aluminum rear calipers. SS models have larger rotors that are acted upon by four-piston, aluminum Brembo calipers at all four corners. They are designed to stand up to the severe use encountered on road-race tracks, delivering excellent feedback and pedal feel, as well as fade-resistant performance during racing.
GM’s StabilTrak electronic stability control system is standard and incorporates traction control. The system on SS models includes Competitive/Sport mode that is adjustable for performance driving, such as on a racetrack; it also includes a Launch Control feature on SS models with the manual transmission. It enables quicker, more consistent takeoffs during performance driving.


Designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash, the Camaro offers a comprehensive system of safety features – starting with a robust body structure and integral safety cage around the passenger compartment. High-strength steel and ultra high-strength steel are used in key areas throughout the structure.
Safety technologies integrated in the Camaro include:


  • Driver and front-passenger dual-stage air bags

  • Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted thorax side-impact air bags

  • Head curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear seat occupants

  • Front seat safety belt load limiters and pre-tensioners

The front passenger detection system senses children and small-stature adults and suppresses air bag deployment when appropriate.

Standard OnStar service assists after a crash. With OnStar’s Advanced Crash Response System, the vehicle automatically sends a signal to OnStar for assistance, even if the air bags don’t deploy.
Chevrolet is one of America’s best-known and best-selling automotive brands. With the largest dealer network in the United States, Chevy is the leader in full-size trucks and the leader in sales of vehicles priced $35,000 and above. Chevrolet delivers more-than-expected value in every vehicle category, offering cars and trucks priced from $12,120 to $103,300. Chevy delivers expressive design, spirited performance and great value with standard features usually found only on more expensive vehicles. More information on Chevrolet can be found at

May 4, 2009 Posted by | 2010 camaro, Chevrolet, chevy, cool, eric prothro, jamestown, sierra motors | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Way Cool Super Ultrabitchen 2010 Chevy Camaro

Sierra Motors        “One Low Price, Plain and Simple…ALWAYS !”


 CALL TODAY  @800.571.0275 



Ok. I am excited. It’s rare that a new model will really mean something to me. But this actually is way cool super ultrabitchen. The new 2010 Camaro, in a word, I love it. This is the one. This car is multi-generational. My father, son and I all want one. I have been waiting for something this great to come out of GM for a long time. Of course we only get one at a time, but that does not take away from the car.


 You must see the 2010 Camaro. Look at it. Feel it. Smell it. If possible drive it. How great does it make you feel? If you are fortunate enough, buy it! It is all of that and a bag of chips.

 Now why did GM wait until pre-bankruptcy to get it right?

May 1, 2009 Posted by | 2010 camaro, cool, eric prothro, gm, jamestown, sierra motors | , , , , , | Leave a comment