Auto veteran Jim O'Sullivan joins AI firm's advisory board

Jim O'Sullivan, the retired CEO of Mazda North American Operations, has joined LotLinx's advisory board, the digital marketing company said.

Will tariffs lift American steel to higher grade?

Trump's tariff on steel imports could have a cost impact on automakers -- but in a better-case scenario, it could spur investment in hot specialty steels.

Japan's automakers warn of higher vehicle prices

Japan's automakers warn that car prices will rise following President Donald Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminum.

House bill would change CFPB structure

A bipartisan House bill introduced Monday could change the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's single-director leadership structure into a bipartisan commission.

Sonic bullish on F&I outlook

Sonic Automotive's F&I gross profit per retail unit set company records last year on strong ancillary product sales. The company expects even more gains as it gets "the right training" and processes in place.

Scan a car, get pre-qualified

Capital One is previewing an augmented reality tool that enables customers to scan any car, receive personalized finance information and locate nearby dealerships in seconds.

Master leasing so customers don't miss out

F&I managers should study leasing, even if they are in an area where leasing is less prevalent, such as the West Coast, advises Kevin Cullum, president of Nissan Motors Acceptance Corp. “Make yourself completely knowledgeable of leasing so you can give your customer a proper education,” he said. “If it's a product they have not educated themselves on, they have missed an opportunity.”

Is globe-trotting trainer finally settling down?

Tony Troussov is a familiar face among dealerships as a finance and insurance trainer. But what retail insiders may not know is that when he immigrated to the U.S. from Russia with just $50 in his pocket, his American dream did not include working in the car business.

Experts split on service selling F&I products

Even when F&I and service departments have a collaborative relationship, many dealerships face a decision: Let service advisers market and sell F&I products in the service drive or leave product sales to the F&I department.

Focus on products lifts service business

After the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cracked down on auto lenders for potentially discriminatory practices related to dealer reserve, dealerships began prioritizing F&I product sales over reserve. For many stores, a side benefit of the shift has been a boost in service business.

F&I and service must be a team, experts say

A team effort between the F&I office and service department can reap significant benefits for the dealership. But tension or ignorance between the two can hurt the store, experts say.

Training in claims pays off in happy customers

When service advisers don't know how to file claims on F&I products, customers often lose faith in the F&I products and the dealership. With so much at stake, most F&I product providers have clear training procedures to keep service advisers informed on products and claims.

Average rate on new-car loans at 8-year high

Last month, the average interest rate on a new-vehicle loan reached its highest level since the third quarter of 2009, as federal rate increases made last year trickled down to vehicle finance, Edmunds said.

Balance of auto loans linked to synthetic fraud soars

The outstanding balance on auto loans linked to suspected synthetic identity fraud more than tripled from 2012 to 2017, according to TransUnion. But the credit bureau and other companies are launching products aimed at helping lenders identify synthetic identities before approving loans.

Introduce service writers to F&I vendors

Help service writers establish a relationship with F&I product companies, suggests John Tabar of United Development Systems. Plan a phone introduction among all the parties involved in the claims process. “A go-to person in claims who knows you personally can make a big difference,” he said. Read about this topic and more in our special section on finance and insurance, publishing Monday, March 12.

F&I gains at public retailers could be short-lived

All six public new-car dealership groups increased F&I gross profit per unit in the fourth quarter, with one even setting a historic high. But the record-breaking pace could be short-lived as used-vehicle sales rise.

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