F&I managers are spread thin

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News
F&I trainer Jan Kelly, president of Kelly Enterprises in Vancouver, Wash., says the word she gets from F&I managers around the country is that credit is still critically tight, despite reports to the contrary. She says F&I managers are acutely aware that customers need to come up with bigger down payments, but salespeople are still in denial.

“For years, many dealerships had low- or no-money down, long terms and delayed first payments. They think that's how life is,” she said. “Instead, we're going back to the olden days.”

Kelly says life is tough in the F&I training biz, too. “The issue is: Dealerships are running so lean there's literally no one to fill in for the F&I manager,” she said last week. “They can't afford to do without that department's revenue for a (training) day.”