Ford-GM gap isn't as wide as it looks

Ford and General Motors' first-quarter results aren't necessarily emblematic of how each company will look later in the year.

Nissan's new design chief on following a legend

After 30 years in Nissan studios around the world, Alfonso Albaisa has become Nissan's first non-Japanese head of global design. He's ready - even if it means laying down his pencil.

Nismo's global expansion could bring performance pickup

Nissan's Nismo performance tuner sub-brand plans a massive global push over the next five years.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

We'll send you the top news of the day each weekday afternoon.

What Protective gained when it bought U.S. Warranty

When Protective Asset Protection's parent acquired U.S. Warranty Corp. last year, the purchase came with a value proposition: expertise in helping dealers design their own F&I products. Now Protective plans to expand that business.

How to respond to an F&I skeptic

F&I managers know there's at least one constant in their jobs: Car buyers remain wary of finance and insurance. So it's imperative F&I managers and dealership staff develop presentation styles that help F&I skeptics sort through their misgivings.

AutoNation Q1 F&I results soften

AutoNation's F&I results eased slightly in the first quarter, and the company expects a flat or slight downward trend to continue this year as its used-vehicle volume expands as a share of total unit sales.

Successful training takes preparation

Before investing in training, dealers should ask managers where the team can improve, suggests Todd Cooper of EFG Cos. Without buy-in from F&I directors and sales managers, he said, "all that money spent on training will fly right out the window." Dealers' next step is to tell trainers the outcome they're hoping for to ensure "the training content, methodology and delivery is in line with [their] needs."

Faster deals, funding hinge on tech

Dealers should embrace technology, such as electronic contracting, to speed up the transaction, suggests Chase Auto Finance CEO Mark O'Donovan. "In addition to improving the customer experience, it will decrease application errors and allow us to fund you faster,” he said. “Our customers don't want to spend hours working out the financials. They want to feel the excitement of their new car purchase.”

It's not F&I markup, it's reimbursement

The difference between the wholesale rate and the retail rate isn't F&I markup or hidden dealer profit -- it's reimbursement for the cost of originating the transaction.

CarMax hikes loan-loss provisions

CarMax raised its provision for loan losses 50 percent in the quarter ended Feb. 28 but cautioned against reading too much into the increase.

AFSA gives Congress an earful about the CFPB

The American Financial Services Association, a lender trade group, listed a number of complaints about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in recent testimony before a Congressional subcommittee.

Tie pay plans to following rules

Want employees to follow procedures? Build it into the pay plan, suggests Gabe Aldrete of EFG Cos. For example, structuring compensation plans based on product penetration benchmarks fosters better record keeping. “By giving employees a monetary incentive to keep accurate logs,” he said, “you are giving yourself a better and more complete measuring stick to use in gauging F&I performance.”

Huntington: Dealerships hold key to growth

Huntington National Bank wants to grow its auto finance business by going “deeper” in its existing markets after several years of adding new states to its network and by serving F&I managers' needs.

On our planet, money doesn't grow on trees

Inspired by a conversation with Ken Garff Automotive Group, Ally Financial has launched a book with a storyline that jumps from planet to planet to teach children financial skills.

AFSA gives Congress an earful about the CFPB

The American Financial Services Association, a lender trade group, listed a number of complaints about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in testimony before a Congressional subcommittee.