Ford to build an 8-speed transmission in Michigan

Ford will build an eight-speed front-wheel-drive transmission, downsized from a planned nine-speed, at a Michigan plant.


Lexus patient with fixed-price program

A year into the Lexus Plus no-haggle pricing program, the expected waves of dealers joining are only ripples. But brand executives say a slow and steady pace has its benefits.


How racing pays off in daily driving

Automakers rationalize racing as a proving ground for performance and safety technology. I totally buy that, even for brands that make mainstream family haulers.

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BLOG: Hannah Lutz | UPDATED: 5/11/17 12:57 pm ET - adds details
F&I vendors take aim at used vehicles

The trend toward used vehicles has extended beyond financing. It's become a focus in the F&I product world, too.

BLOG: James B. Treece
Lenders are shifting. Keep up.

Early first-quarter data show that lenders aren't as full-throttle on auto loans as before. It behooves F&I managers to keep close tabs on who's pulling back.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
For some states, it's time to revamp CFPB structure

Last month 15 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting the call to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Attorneys general often pride themselves on being the voice and advocate of the consumer, so criticizing a group that claims to fight for consumer protection appears out of character. Even so, the situation sheds even more light on the unusual set up of the CFPB.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Keep the buying process flexible

In the evolution to the online car-buying process, it's important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz | UPDATED: 4/25/17, noon -- correction
Group 1's PVR bar will be tough to beat

Group 1 Automotive hit a record $1,636 in F&I gross profit per unit in the fourth quarter, likely becoming the new leader in the F&I race among the six largest publicly traded new-vehicle retail groups.

BLOG: James B. Treece
Lenders gloat over CFPB's prospects -- then reconsider

During the American Financial Services Association's auto finance conference, AFSA's leaders and their audience were practically gloating over the possibility that the Trump administration might gut the CFPB. Here are some comments from that gathering.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Automakers, digital deals hinge on you

The online car-buying experience has become a major industry focus as consumers expect the process to be as simple as buying a book on Amazon.

BLOG: James B. Treece | UPDATED: 1/13/17 3:22 pm ET -- Corrected
The cost of not knowing your F&I products

In a recent opinion piece, I was wrong in what I said extended service contracts cover. Smarter folks called me out on my error. The moral of the story: Know your F&I products inside out.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Should car buyers pay with plastic?

Credit card payments are convenient for the on-demand culture, but when it comes to purchasing a car, are they worth the risk for extra debt? Dealers would do well to provide customers the pros and cons of whipping out the plastic.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Will the tone on compliance change under Trump?

A year ago, we wrote that compliance was the theme of industry conferences in 2015. The discussion continued in 2016, but in 2017, will the new presidential administration change the tone?

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Gaining insight, theme by theme

One of my favorite parts of the F&I beat is choosing a theme to explore every quarter in our F&I Insight special sections for print and online.

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