Porsche captive adds branded F&I products

Porsche dealers have been asking for branded F&I products. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS
UPDATED: 4/29/15 3:11 pm ET - adds details

Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini dealers in the U.S. are getting a new menu of F&I products to sell.

Porsche Financial Services North America Inc. is introducing extended service contracts and other products bearing the Porsche name, plus F&I products for the Bentley and Lamborghini brands.

The lender’s move to branded F&I products follows similar ones by luxury rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

“This is absolutely significant for the Porsche brand and the dealers and ultimately for the clients,” said Patrick Huston, general manager of Park Place Porsche in Dallas, one of several dealerships that participated in planning the new branded products.

Porsche dealers have been asking for branded F&I products, Huston told Automotive News during a phone interview on Monday. He said dealerships can expect to start selling the new products as soon as they get signed up and receive training on the new policies.

“There’s a higher take rate for a product backed by the factory as opposed to ‘ABC Road Hazard,’” Huston said. “Obviously, the client is going to find more value in something with the Porsche brand name, that’s brand-new, and supported by the manufacturer.”

Ross Dupper, CEO of Porsche Financial Services, said in an interview on Tuesday that brand-name F&I products “create quite a bit of comfort” for customers. He said the lender has already sold a few customer policies.

As an affiliate of Porsche AG, which is a unit of the Volkswagen Group, Porsche Financial Services is the captive finance provider for the Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti brands in North America. VW Credit, of Herndon, Va., is the captive finance arm for the Volkswagen and Audi brands.

The new Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini brand-name F&I products will be administered for Porsche Financial Services on a private-label basis by Safe-Guard Products International. Both companies are based in Atlanta.

Safe-Guard is launching a menu of products under the Porsche name, including extended service contracts, tire-and-wheel protection, guaranteed asset protection, lease-end protection and more.

Porsche Financial Services is expected to make it easy for customers to finance the branded products on the same contract as their vehicles, the vendor said.

Porsche Financial Services and Safe-Guard will offer F&I products branded QualityShield for non-Porsche used vehicles sold by Porsche dealers. Porsche Cars North America, the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary, will continue to offer its own prepaid maintenance. Safe-Guard is adding an optional, upgraded prepaid maintenance plan for the Porsche brand, said David Pryor, Safe-Guard chief marketing officer.

Bentley and Lamborghini dealerships will get a lineup of brand-name F&I products that includes GAP, tire-and-wheel and others, but not extended service contracts. Those brands’ sales and marketing companies already offer service contracts. Bentley and Lamborghini stores will also get the new QualityShield F&I products.

Safe-Guard’s Pryor said it’s unusual for low-volume exotic brands to have branded F&I products. He said the products are tailored a little differently for each brand.

For instance, Lamborghini will offer a significantly higher reimbursement for towing.

“You don’t want some third-party towing company showing up that doesn’t know how to tow one of those cars,” Pryor said. “You want to make sure they’re getting a Lamborghini experience.”

You can reach Jim Henry at autonews@crain.com

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