Train, train and train again
Constant F&I training is a must to stay current on changing compliance rules, says Danny Cox, corporate F&I director for Ken Garff Automotive Group in Salt Lake City. That's especially important, he says, at large dealership groups, where, with dozens of F&I managers, rogue tendencies can flourish.
"We have a focus on training" because "we are heavily engaged in compliance," Cox says. "We have 105 F&I managers, and with that many, they have a tendency, if possible, to go their own way. We have to be very clear and concise in what our expectations are."
Ken Garff Automotive ranks No. 11 on Automotive News' list of the top 125 dealership groups in the United States with retail sales of 34,219 new vehicles in 2012.
Know how your lenders score deals
FICO credit scores may all look the same, but beware. Lenders incorporate slightly different versions into their scorecards and models, and that can affect whether a customer gets financed. Scoring differences can be especially troublesome in the case of a spot delivery, in which a customer takes a vehicle home before a lender buys the finance contract, says Jenn Reid, senior director of product marketing for Equifax Automotive Services in Atlanta.
"On deals that are close to lender cutoffs, the wrong version could mean the difference between approval or rejection," Reid says. "To avoid this problem, especially for spot deliveries, F&I managers need to keep track of which lender uses which version."
You can reach Jim Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.