Finance and Insurance

Lithia expects flat per-unit F&I revenue through 2015

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Lithia Motors expects average F&I revenue per vehicle retailed to stay flat through the rest of 2014 and 2015, at the current level of about $1,200 on a same-store basis. The retailer expects same-store average F&I revenue per unit of $1,202 in the third quarter.... Read More »

 

Wells Fargo, Chase boost auto lending

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Wells Fargo expects to keep its position as the No. 1 U.S. auto lender by volume as auto lenders report third-quarter results.... Read More »

 

CFPB faces legal hurdle in regulating F&I products

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
It’s clear the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would like to increase regulation of what it calls “add-on” F&I products such as extended-service contracts and GAP. But it’s less clear whether the bureau can find the legal grounds to do it, a former CFPB official says.... Read More »

 

How to navigate the incentives maze

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
From cash rebates to discount financing to lease subvention deals, complex automaker incentive programs keep dealership F&I departments constantly on their toes to find car buyers the best deals. That vigilance is poised to become even more critical as manufacturers beef up offerings. The stakes for dealerships are high.... Read More »

 

Dealers to face more lender scrutiny

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
Dealerships can expect more scrutiny from more lenders -- possibly including new attention aimed at leases -- when the “larger participants” rule proposed last month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is enacted, possibly by year end.... Read More »

 

Q&A

TD Auto Finance sheds stores, eschews subprime

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
TD Auto Finance has shed about 2,800 dealerships this year in its campaign to cut low-volume stores and concentrate on dealerships that send the most business. Many of the dealerships cut were independent, used-car stores.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Subprime is no runaway train

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
There it goes again, as Ronald Reagan might have said. The New York Times is still hammering a theme that subprime auto loans will endanger the U.S. economy in the way that subprime mortgages helped bring about the Great Recession.... Read More »

 

GM Financial has big role in GM master plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
GM Financial will have an oversized role in General Motors’ efforts to increase revenue, market share and customer loyalty in the U.S. and other mature markets through 2020, GM President Dan Ammann says. GM will rely more heavily on GM Financial in mature markets such as North America, Europe and Japan because it doesn’t expect much sales movement in those regions beyond cyclical ups and downs.... Read More »

 

Sonic to launch captive -- in a few years

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Sonic Automotive plans to launch a captive finance arm, but the startup date is at least four years away.... Read More »

 

Test offers off-lease Toyotas

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Toyota Financial Services is testing a program that offers off-lease vehicles for sale to dealers outside its franchise network while the vehicles are still sitting on the lots of Toyota and Lexus dealers that accepted the vehicles.... Read More »

 

EDWARD NIEDERMEYER

Dissecting what it means when Buffett grabs the wheel

11:27 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2014
Wherever Warren Buffett goes, investors follow. But for anyone who thinks now is the best time to buy into car dealerships, a quick reality check may be in order.... Read More »

 

U.S. charges 5 former dealer employees with loan fraud conspiracy in Ala.

7:38 am U.S. ET | Oct. 3, 2014
Five former Serra Nissan employees have been charged in Birmingham, Ala., in connection with an alleged conspiracy to fraudulently increase loan approvals and car sales, the FBI said in a statement.... Read More »

 

Loan fraud inquiry focuses on used-car dealers, report says

12:20 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 2, 2014
Federal and state authorities are investigating used-car dealerships to examine if they are inflating borrowers' income or falsifying employment information on loan applications to ensure that anyone can buy a car, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter.... Read More »

 

Ford Credit rolls out 75-month loans nationwide

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014
Ford Motor Credit has joined the trend toward longer loans, rolling out 75-month terms nationwide starting today. The company previously had conducted a pilot program.... Read More »

 

Chrysler Capital lowers rate cap on dealer reserve

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014
Chrysler Capital is cutting its maximum permissible dealer reserve to 175 basis points, or 1.75 percentage points, effective today. The previous maximum was 200 basis points. Chrysler Capital, which provides full-service financing to Chrysler Group dealerships, notified retailers of the change in a fax last week.... Read More »

 

Is it wise to keep putting the car before the cash?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014
Dealerships can and should take some of the risk out of making spot deliveries, experts say.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Lenders must look through consumers' eyes

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014
In the second of what's shaping up to be a series of attacks on subprime auto finance -- the first was in July -- The New York Times last week made a breathless page one story out of a years-old device: the vehicle starter interrupt.... Read More »

 

Q&A

F&I managers need intelligence, empathy -- and good training

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014
Today’s all-out emphasis on regulatory compliance has led to the biggest change in F&I training in recent memory, says Robert Serum, a career educator in dealership operations. The biggest F&I hurdle, though, remains the same, he says: The need for dealerships to find the right person to head the department.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

How to end predatory auto-loan practices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014
Americans won't abide companies that gouge minorities and other vulnerable consumers. By acting aggressively to adopt and publicize the NADA and AFSA solution, auto retailers and lenders can show they are determined to fight discrimination before the heavy hand of government steps in.... Read More »

 

Buyers snap up pricier models

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014
Consumers in the United States are willingly paying more than ever for new vehicles, enticed by low interest rates, cheap leases and ubiquitous six-year loans that keep monthly payments affordable while the total price tag rises by thousands of dollars.... Read More »

 

Report faults Treasury on 'excessive' post-bailout pay at GM, Ally

12:13 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2014
Top executives at General Motors and Ally Financial received excessive compensation after receiving bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury in 2009, according to a Treasury special inspector general report released today.... Read More »

 

Share of CarMax sales financed with subprime loans declines

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2014
The percentage of CarMax vehicles purchased with loans from lenders that specialize in subprime loans dropped almost 5 percentage points in the company’s fiscal quarter that ended Aug. 31. But don’t read too much into that, the company says.... Read More »

 

Q&A

CFPB’s new rule ups costs for small lenders, creates unlevel field

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed new rule extending its jurisdiction to include “larger participant” nonbank auto lenders has some shortcomings, says Bill Himpler, executive vice president of the American Financial Services Association.... Read More »

 

Auto finance growth expected to boost car sales into 2015

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2014
The growth in U.S. auto sales has slowed but a healthy auto loan and lease environment should continue to support higher sales the rest of this year and next, Moody's Analytics says.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Auto finance industry still paying for past sins

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2014
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulators seem to have a caricature of a plaid, polyester sport coat-wearing car salesman in mind when they talk about auto retailing.... Read More »

 

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