Open the year with a look at what's ahead: What should F&I managers prepare for — and what should they prepare against?
In 2013, the F&I world saw a number of changes.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's indirect influence on automotive retailers became far more pronounced. Leasing grew dramatically, particularly for mass-market brands that heretofore had not seen much leasing penetration. Loans became longer. And with new-car margins shrinking, dealers began to rely increasingly on their F&I departments for profits — and therefore set higher targets for their F&I managers.
Our panel of experts will peer into their crystal balls to determine the outlook for:
The CFPB; Interest rates; Lenders' appetite for subprime auto loans; Leasing; Factory incentives; Used-car values, and by extension, the trade-in prices that help buyers make their down payment; and Vehicle affordability in light of all of the above.
How best to position your F&I department in the year ahead.
What compliance issues will dominate 2014.
The potential for leasing, and whether it will continue to erode F&I profits.
Whether low interest-rate incentives will cut into dealer reserve profits.