Tag Archive | "F&I Manager"

Innovative Lending Releases Loan Management Tool for F&I Offices


CHICAGO — Innovative Lending Solutions LLC announced the release of Stip Trac, an automotive loan management system designed to help dealers track cash flow, collecting necessary loan documents, or stips, and keeping an open communication line with car buyers before and after their purchase.

Stip Trac features a dashboard that allows users to track cash owed by a bank, set “contact-in-transit” limits, and track money in transit by salesman. It also provides status updates on any deal in transit, held at dealership, funded, etc. Users can also look up the age of a deal and missing stips, as well as add internal notes that can be viewed by all parties involved with the loan.

Stip Trac also allows dealers to add additional stips to a loan at any time, push welcome calls to the bank, and gain real references and referrals from customers. It also provides users with a “contact list” on their cell phone, and the ability to approve or deny stips as they are received.

The new tool also features a custom messaging so users can send an urgent message to the car buyer. It also offers automatic push notifications and a dealer-branded app that allow users to monitor a loan’s progress on their smartphones.

For the consumer, Stip Trac helps protect them from identity theft. It can also eliminate additional trips to the dealership to drop off loan-related documents, speeding up the finance process at the dealership.

“Stip Trac is a needed tool to improve the automotive loan process for car dealerships and consumers. Using Stip Trac removes a lot of the stress that today’s finance managers are facing today,” said Ed Maisonneuve, president and CEO of Innovative Lending Solutions LLC. “We truly built this so the delivery process is a smooth one. As a finance manager, I can’t tell you how many times a deal came into my office with missing documents, bad references, missing signatures. StipTrac 100% eliminates that.”

For more, visit www.StipTrac.com.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on Innovative Lending Releases Loan Management Tool for F&I Offices

American Financial Adds Trainer to F&I University Staff


American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of John Vecchioni to their team. John joined American Financial in July as a trainer with F&I University (FIU), a division of the Automotive Training Academy (ATA). John brings over 20 years of retail and training experience, and lends a comprehensive perspective to F&I, sales, and compliance. John’s training philosophy creates growth, both professionally and culturally. He is known for championing logical and conversational selling techniques.

John has the honor of being one of the Master of Ceremony speakers at the Industry Summit, taking place on August 29-31 at Paris Las Vegas. American Financial will also be conducting a workshop titled, “Needs Discovery Without the Interrogation,” which will be led by Dwayne Wiggins, F&I University Trainer. Be sure to visit American Financial at the Summit and welcome John to the team!

FIU provides cutting-edge F&I curriculum and online continuing education for today’s business manager. FIU is also at the forefront of digital solutions to streamline the business office by offering training on tablet technology and benefits analysis software.

Centered at the core of American Financial’s offerings are customized in-dealership development, the MasterTechTM F&I product suite, the ATA, FIU, and Compliance Programs.

For more information on how American Financial can assist your dealership, e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required or visit www.AFASinc.com.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on American Financial Adds Trainer to F&I University Staff

F&I and Showroom Now Accepting F&I Dealer of the Year Nominations


TORRANCE — The search for F&I and Showroom’s next F&I Dealer of the Year starts today. Dealers, agents, F&I product providers, finance sources and technology vendors have until Friday, July 8, to nominate their dealership or client.

To complete the online nomination form, click here. Supporting materials for a nominee, such as newspaper clippings or awards announcements, can be emailed to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

“We’re not necessarily looking for that $1,500-per-copy F&I operation, although we’ve had a few F&I Dealers of the Year performing at that level,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “What we’re looking for is the story behind the numbers. Is the dealership committed to regulatory compliance? Has the F&I team been together a long time? What does the organization’s online reviews and ratings look like? Is it active in the communities it serves?”

For the sixth straight year, The Warranty Group is sponsoring the competition. “It is with great pleasure that we once again sponsor this award,” said Charlie Robinson, President and COO of Resource Automotive, a subsidiary of The Warranty Group. “What I most appreciate about this award is that it recognizes not only top-performing F&I operations, but organizations that do it the right way, are committed to the communities they serve, and exemplify the very best this industry has to offer.”

The magazine will first select six finalists, or what F&I and Showroom refers to as F&I Pacesetters of the Year. A representative from each organization will be invited to Industry Summit 2016 (Aug. 29-31), where they’ll be honored during a special ceremony. They’ll also receive a two-night stay at the Paris Las Vegas, the site of this year’s conference, and a complimentary full-conference pass.

Dealerships selected as F&I Pacesetters will also be profiled in the magazine’s special conference issue and the September edition of F&I and Showroom magazine.

At the conclusion of the special ceremony, one finalist will be named the 2016 F&I Dealer of the Year. That dealership will appear on the cover of the magazine’s November issue, which will include a four-page profile on the organization. Past winners include David-Moore AutomotiveVaden Automotive GroupSerpentini Chevrolet of StrongsvilleLithia Motors Inc.Riverside Auto GroupThe Suburban Collection, and Tuttle-Click Automotive Group.

To nominate your dealership or dealer client today, click here. For questions about the online nomination form, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on F&I and Showroom Now Accepting F&I Dealer of the Year Nominations

AutoNation’s F&I Operations Posts $1,538 Per-Copy Average for 2015


FORD LAUDERDALE, Fla. – AutoNation’s F&I operations, or what the group refers to as Customer Financial Services, lived above $1,500 in F&I gross profit per vehicle retailed (PVR) in 2015, with the business unit’s full-year revenues rising by $100.5 million from 2014.

The group’s F&I operation’s full-year PVR average was $1,538, up $124 from 2014. For the fourth quarter, the business unit’s PVR average came in at $1,556, up $109 from 2014’s end-of-year quarter.

Total F&I revenue for 2015 increased 13.5% from a year ago to $846.1 million. For the fourth quarter, revenues increased 14.4% from the year-ago period to $210 million.

The nation’s largest dealer group posted full-year revenue of 20.9 million, up 9% from the prior year. Total gross profit was $3.3 billion, up 9% from the year-ago period. Operating income for the full year was $873 million, an increase of 6% over the prior year.

“Our primary assumption for 2016 industry new-vehicle unit sales is above 17 million for the year,” said Mike Jackson, the group’s chairman, CEO and president.

For the fourth quarter 2015, revenues totaled $5.3 billion, up 6% from the year-ago period. Total gross profit was $812 million, up 4% from the year-ago period, while operating income fell 12% to $200 million.

Retail new-vehicle sales for the fourth quarter increased 4% from a year ago to 86,740 units. For the full year, the dealer group bested 2014 sales by more than 21,000 units for a total of 339,080 units sold.

“The fourth quarter industry sales environment was more push than pull, resulting in significant new- and used-vehicle margin declines on a combined basis of $217 per vehicle, which is 11% lower than the fourth quarter of 2014,” Jackson noted. “During the quarter, we experienced particular weakness in premium luxury, which had a significant impact on our fourth quarter financial results.

“We have begun and will continue through the first quarter to take necessary steps to align our cost, inventory and pricing strategy to the current market,” he added.

On a same-store basis, gross profit for variable operations was $450 million in the fourth quarter, down 4% from the year-ago period. Variable gross was $3,350 on a per vehicle retail basis, a decrease of $125 from the prior year, while new and used same-store unit volume was flat compared to the year-ago period.

Additionally, new-vehicle revenue for the fourth quarter was $3 billion, a $61 million increase from a year ago.

Jackson noted that 2015 was a historical year for AutoNation, as the group celebrated the sale of its 10 millionth vehicle. “We implemented our industry-leading recall policy,” he added. “We acquired 51 franchises with approximately $1 billion in annual revenue, and we built our brand and kicked off our drive pink campaign from coast to coast.”

Asked if the auto finance environment will remain a key driver of sales — particularly with a million more off-lease vehicle returning to the market — Jackson responded, “I see absolutely no sign of difficulties in auto finance.”

“I first think on the consumers’ commitment to pay for the car loans, whether it’s lease or finance,” he added. “It’s unwavering. So no alarm bells there.”

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on AutoNation’s F&I Operations Posts $1,538 Per-Copy Average for 2015

Embracing Tech Results in Higher Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Dealerships that use technology like tablets and computer displays during the sales process can substantially improve customer satisfaction among new-vehicle buyers, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

Released on Thursday, the study measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers and rejecters — those who shop a dealership and purchase elsewhere. Buyer satisfaction is based on four factors: working out the deal (17%); salesperson (13%); delivery process (11%); and facility (10%). Rejecter satisfaction is based on five factors: salesperson (21%); fairness of price (8%); experience negotiating (8%); facility (7%); and variety of inventory (7%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

In the study’s 29th year, overall sales satisfaction improved to 688 in 2015, up slightly from 686 in 2014. It concluded that dealerships that integrate technology tools into their sales process deliver a superior customer experience, while dealerships that fail to invest in consumer-facing technologies risk being trumped by competitors.

According to the study, among both non-premium and premium buyers, use of tablets by sales personnel to perform such tasks as record customer vehicle needs, demonstrate vehicle features and display pricing information yields higher satisfaction with technology usage than when a tablet is not used (8.12 vs. 7.02 and 8.63 vs. 7.52, respectively, on a 10-point scale). Notably, handwritten price quotes have a negative impact on buyer satisfaction with technology usage, with a -0.55 point gap in satisfaction between non-premium buyers when this method is used and when it is not and a -0.45 gap between premium buyers.

As for F&I products, satisfaction was higher among customers who were offered these options. Among non-premium owners, satisfaction was 46 points higher when a dealer offered them a pre-paid maintenance contract vs. when they do not (788 vs. 742, respectively). And among premium buyers, the gap is 26 points (827 vs. 801). Moreover, when F&I product and pricing/payment options are presented on a computer or tablet screen, satisfaction is higher than when any other method is used, including printed materials, verbal quotes/descriptions and handwritten figures.

“With retail vehicle sales in the United States in 2015 forecast to reach 14.2 million units and this positive momentum expected to carry into 2016, dealers face challenges in properly servicing a high volume of new-vehicle buyers who are increasingly tech savvy,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of the automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. “Dealerships should understand that customers want and trust technology and that it can enhance efficiencies. Dealers that disregard it may risk being left behind in three to five years. Customers are experiencing interesting uses of technology in many of their other retail transactions—and now expect this in auto.”

The study showed that Porsche ranked highest in sales satisfaction among luxury brands with a score of 752, improving by 14 points from 2014. For a sixth consecutive year, MINI ranks highest among mass market brands with a score of 762, a 35-point increase from 2014.

The 2015 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study is based on responses from 27,831 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in April or May 2015.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on Embracing Tech Results in Higher Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds

Lincoln Captive Offers Customers Credit Protection Package


DEARBORN, Mich. — Lincoln Automotive Financial Services is offering its finance and lease customers complimentary credit-protection that includes 24/7 credit monitoring and alerts, unlimited access to their credit reports and score, lost wallet protection and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance coverage with no deductible.

The package, which last for two years, depending on the client’s financing term, includes access to VantageScore, a credit score developed jointly by the three major national credit reporting companies. It also provides finance customers with unlimited access to the client’s TransUnion Credit Report, and a dedicated identity restoration specialist to help them restore their identities.

“This complimentary protection will alert our clients to activity affecting their credit and will help them restore their identity if it is compromised,” said Krista Conyers, the captive’s director of marketing.

With the package’s lost wallet protection, the captive’s clients can upload their driver’s license, credit card and other important numbers. If the wallet is ever missing, the client makes one phone call to a specialist who reports missing cards to the issuers and begins the replacement process.

The complimentary coverage is offered to clients who finance or lease with Lincoln Automotive Financial Services in the United States and lasts for two or three years, depending on the client’s financing term.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on Lincoln Captive Offers Customers Credit Protection Package

Page 1 of 212