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Pro Team's Michaelis Sees Changing ’Vette Market

ProTeam Corvette Sales has announced that it will be closing its satellite store in Auburn, Ind.

AUBURN, Ind. -- ProTeam Corvette Sales has announced that it will be closing its satellite store in Auburn, Ind. Company president Terry Michaelis was hoping to sell a lot of the company’s Auburn inventory at the Kruse auction
on Labor Day weekend.

Pro Team operated for two and a half years in Auburn near the Kruse Auction Park. Michaelis told the Auburn Star that he plans to stick to his home base in Napoleon, Ohio, where his main headquarters has always been.

“I have had to get more creative and take my cars to the people,” Michaelis told reporters.

At the Bloomington Gold Auction in St. Charles, Ill., in June, Michaelis sold 11 of the 42 cars he brought. Those sold were mainly $200,000-plus cars and he didn’t replace them in his inventory.

Like other Corvette dealers told Old Cars Weekly in the past year, Corvettes with prices in the $10,000 or lower range are hard to sell and not bringing the strongest prices. As in real estate, it is a buyer’s market right now.

“All these things hit us at once,” Michaelis told the newspaper. “2008 is going to be the year we remember.”

At the same time, Michaelis has seen his overseas sales of Corvettes more than triple in the past 15 months. Exports to Western Europe had generally been strong, but the weak dollar has brought out buyers from the Mideast and Russia, Croatia and New Zealand.

Micaelis said he is advising clients to hold on to their treasures until the economy improves. “If you don’t need to sell, this is the wrong year to do it,” he believes. But the ones that do sell, Michaelis adds, are sold at auctions. He took 30 cars to Auburn. “An auction is still the best venue,” he said. “It creates urgency.”

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