A green 2022 Chevy Tahoe High Country is shown parked in front of a modern home.

This Is Madness…No, This Is the Chevy Pre-Order Process, and It’s Far from Mad

The world changed in 2020. The pandemic left its footprint in many ways – labor and supply shortages, for example. A lack of truck drivers, an inability to ship materials overseas, and the restriction of travel have impacted nearly every business imaginable. The automobile industry did not emerge from the pandemic unscathed, but in the midst of the turmoil, there have been some changes that make shopping for a car easier. The Chevy pre-order process, for instance, is now being embraced by many more drivers than before.

The economic complications of the health crisis, combined with natural disasters, have left us with far fewer computer chips than we should have. It sounds unbelievable, but without the silicon required to construct the computer elements that make our modern vehicles work, we can’t drive. While manufacturers are scrambling to find alternatives to their disrupted chip supply, the fact of the matter is that dealerships do not have as many brand new cars on their lots. Manufacturers simply can’t make them in the massive quantities we are used to until the shortages have been solved.

As a possible solution to this situation, many manufacturers are offering the ability to pre-order custom-built vehicles to be created to your specifications and delivered to you in all of their bespoke glory. Much of the world has been purchasing cars, trucks, and SUVs by pre-order for decades. Here in the United States, it isn’t as regularly practiced, except by those who are looking for a very special edition or rare vehicle. Chevy Corvette owners, for example, have been pre-ordering vehicles for years. Here’s why that should change and why pre-ordering is the only way to guarantee you’ll get the perfect vehicle.

A woman is shown researching the Chevy pre-order process online.

The Pre-Order Process

Why are we singling out Chevy here? Because they have a very robust, detailed, and user-friendly pre-order process. The “Shop. Click. Drive.” program is more than a catchy name – it describes the main steps exactly. There are a few unexpected plot twists, but the Chevy pre-order process is designed to integrate those twists into the process seamlessly, bringing full clarity and transparency to each step.

For example, a dealership is still involved. Many states prevent auto manufacturers from selling directly to the customer; therefore, manufacturers conduct the pre-ordering process through dealerships, which carry the proper licenses to make direct consumer sales.

Furthermore, your car truly will be made to your specifications – unless it already exists. Chevy’s pre-order process allows drivers to select their ideal vehicle by model year, price range, or specific features, such as the number of passengers it can seat. Both personal and commercial models are included in Chevy’s pre-order options. You’ll also be asked for your zip code for the purpose of identifying a local dealership that can assist you.

You’ll choose your model, and then the customization begins. From paint color to wheel type, the exterior of your vehicle is at your discretion. The upholstery, floor mats, and interior packages are all outlined in pictures and descriptions, so you can shop and click as the process promises. The site will keep a running total of how your choices and changes will impact the price. Here’s where the magic comes in: it is quite possible that your ideal vehicle already exists. If it’s nearby, the site will help you connect with the dealership so you can bring it home immediately.

In the event that your vehicle truly needs to be built for you, you will need to prepare for a longer wait while Chevrolet constructs your pre-ordered vehicle. In the meantime, though, you’ll work with the dealership to reserve and finance your vehicle. This includes handling any trade-in you might have, choosing deals or specials for which you may qualify, and selecting a loan or lease option that makes sense for your budget. If that sounds awfully familiar, bear in mind that the steps of the process haven’t changed – you just don’t need to leave the house anymore to complete them.

Why the Chevy Pre-Order Process Is Ideal

There are many advantages of the pre-order process for every party involved. You, as the driver, get to have exactly the car, truck, SUV, or van that you want. The dealership gets a commission on a vehicle they don’t ever have to store on their lot. And Chevrolet knows that they’re building a vehicle that won’t sit unsold for months. It’s a very low-risk process for everyone involved, which is potentially reflected in savings off the MSRP.

Some dealerships offer a concierge service for those participating in the Shop. Click. Drive. program. This means they will deliver your vehicle to you. Some may even allow drivers to arrange a test drive of their ordered vehicle – or one very similar to it – in order to be sure it’s absolutely the right model for their needs. If delivering to your home is not possible, you’ll pick up your new vehicle at the dealership you’ve been working with. One important thing to keep in mind is that, even though you have created your ideal vehicle, you are not obligated to take it until you sign the paperwork. Any issues or discrepancies can be worked out through the dealership and manufacturer.

But the most significant advantage of pre-ordering your Chevrolet directly from the manufacturer is your ability to get what you want. Dealerships stock cars that they believe drivers in their area will buy, and in many cases, they’re right on target. However, as a consumer, you might not be as excited about compromising. Perhaps they have the trim you want, but not exactly the exterior color you wanted. Or you really had your heart set on the contents of one of Chevy’s Driver Confidence packages, but the dealership doesn’t stock any models with those features. Why make sacrifices when you can pre-order exactly what you want directly from the manufacturer?

The front of a blue 2022 Chevy Camaro SS is shown from a high angle.

Things to Know Before Your Pre-Order

Like everything else in this world, the Chevy pre-order process may be ideal, but it’s not exactly perfect… yet.

There are a few exceptions to every rule, and creating your perfect vehicle is one such scenario. Due to manufacturer availability and engineering constraints, there may be some situations in which you may not be able to select all of the options you want. For example, an optional wheel upgrade might be tied into a package of offerings. While Chevrolet offers many of its options individually, some are inextricably included with an appearance or feature package. The good news is that all of these details are made abundantly clear in the online shopping process. Whenever you click on a feature, any accompanying or reliant features will be pointed out by the website.

Another drawback for some is the wait time. While it’s true that good things come to those who wait, the actual waiting process is never fun. Chevrolet offers a tracking system for drivers to find out where their pre-order is during their wait, which can bring additional peace of mind in a waiting process that may last up to 8 weeks, even for common models. But remember – you’re not waiting for just anything. This is your very own custom vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Everything is different today than it was in 2019, but that doesn’t need to be an entirely bad thing. Perhaps, through all of this strife and uncertainty, we’ve learned a thing or two about being efficient. We’ve discovered that we can create what we need and want without extra waste. Maybe you have a renewed perspective on your own lifestyle and how doing things the way you thought they had to be done wasn’t as mandatory as you had expected.

Are the days of going to the dealership to browse new vehicles gone? Of course not. The used and Certified Pre-Owned market is still thriving, and working with a local licensed retailer will always be simpler than attempting to work directly with a global manufacturer. It’s the personal touches that make a transaction really matter, and when you pre-order a custom Chevrolet, you’re ensuring that the entire process is personalized.