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Flex-N-Gate breaks ground for $95 million plant in Detroit

Flex-N-Gate broke ground on a $95 million plant on Detroit's east side that Mayor Mike Duggan touted as the largest supplier investment in the city in more than two decades.

| UPDATED: 4/24/17 4:15 pm ET - adds details, stock close

Electric-car revolution faces its biggest test

Are electric cars ready to stand on their own? If you took a spin down to the New York auto show, the answer is probably a hard "no."

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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.”

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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.

| UPDATED: 3/30/17 7:22 am ET - new story
Ford to 'keep close eye on' long-term loans in Canada

Ford is seeking to limit the growth in long-term auto loans and leases in Canada, where consumers are twice as apt as U.S. buyers to stretch out payments to as long as eight years to pay for a car.


App-based GPS a hit with dealers, buyers

App-based GPS systems lead a double life. Purchased by dealers and installed on vehicles for inventory and lot management, the products also serve as a profit center when sold to consumers as security feature in the F&I department.


Introduce products online, recap in-store

Feature F&I products online but still pitch them in the store, suggests Rudi Thun, COO of Roadster. When the F&I manager recaps the products in person, customers will already be familiar with them. They "will be much more likely to ask thoughtful questions and feel empowered to choose the right products," he said.

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