Northwest NEWS

June 12, 2000

Business

Let's make-believe a deal!

Falcon Fastlane Chevrolet

WHS students recently took part in Falcon Fastlane Chevrolet, a hands-on car dealership.
Staff photo by Bronwyn Wilson.

by Bronwyn Wilson, senior staff reporter

   Jason Sweet's the guy to see if you want to buy a car. He's not the pushy kind. He doesn't ask, "What'll it take to get you into this baby?" while flashing a smooth smile and gliding his hand over the hood of a hot new Camaro. Nope.

   Jason Sweet's not that kind of salesman. He'll point out the car's features, answer questions, and try very hard to get his manager to come down on the price. He'll flip the brochure out of his pocket in a second when asked what colors are available. From a collage of color chips, he'll point to Bright Rally Red, the color of the 2000 Z28 SS Camaro Coupe on the showroom floor. He'll insist it wouldn't be a problem to have a Camaro in Monterey Maroon Metallic ready to drive off the lot that day.

   He'll suggest his customer get inside to feel the Camaro's soft leather seats and to witness the car's roominess and the luxury of the six-disc CD player. He'll note the T-Tops, the V-8 engine, the aluminum wheels, the easy payment plan. And if leather seats aren't important, he'll cut $2,000 off the total price, provided, of course, his manager will agree. Sweet is a dream of a salesman. But there's just one problem.

   Jason Sweet is not really selling cars. Sweet is a junior at Woodinville High School and he's actually playing the role of a car salesman on the school's parking lot, an area temporarily transformed to look like a real car dealership.

   This car sales simulation is the brainchild of EdVenture Partners, a company that links business with schools to help make a real-world experience for students.

   "This is a very real simulation," says Paul "Coach" Glenovich, Advanced Marketing teacher. "So in some way the students can relate what they do in the classroom to what is done in the business world."

   EdVenture Partners, in partnership with Biddle Chevrolet in Bothell, coordinated the hands-on car dealership for Woodinville High School's Advanced Marketing Class. Annisa Jones, field associate for EdVenture Partners, explains, "We're an educational marketing company that creates and manages a variety of curriculum-based programs on behalf of clients. One of those clients is General Motors."

   Before the full-service simulation could begin, preparation took place. First, the students toured Biddle Chevrolet. Next, representatives from Biddle came to the classroom to talk with the students. Last, students were given the opportunity to job-shadow Biddle employees.

   Then the day came when Falcon Fastlane Chevrolet, operated by Mr. Glenovich's students, opened for business on June 1, 2000. Biddle Chevrolet supplied a $1,200 grant, which paid for tents, banners, flyers, tables, chairs, balloons, and a 30-foot inflated gorilla looking like King Kong towering over Manhattan. Plenty of new Chevy vehicles provided by Biddle gleamed on the make-believe lot.

   "We sold to teachers, students, and we invited parents of students in our class. John Biddle also came down," Colson Griffith, a senior, says. And how many simulated sales were there?

   "One hundred thirty," Griffith answers. Jason Sweet, sounding like a proud salesman with numerous commissions to his credit, adds, "There were lots of people in the Camaro, the Blazer, and the S10."

   Mr. Glenovich's Advanced Marketing Class covers all aspects of business, and when the class did a unit on sales, advertising, and promotion, Falcon Fastlane Chevrolet was born. This is the second year for the one-day simulated car dealership at Woodinville High School. Although Glenovich worked in various facets of marketing prior to teaching, he brings more to his class than firsthand experience. The "Coach" also brings fun to learning.

   And what does Coach Glenovich think of his students? "They're awesome!" he says. And with a vote of confidence like this, his students could possibly sell another 130 cars in a day; just ask them.