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GONE IN 60 MINUTES?

The elusive 1-hour transaction

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
Dealerships nationwide are adopting 60 minutes as the gold standard for completing a new-car transaction. They are also learning how tough it is to reach the goal.... Read More »


GONE IN 60 MINUTES?

There are glitches in 60-minute deals

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
What can go wrong in stores that pride themselves in getting customers through the sales process in 60 minutes? Not much, but there are unforeseen hiccups.... Read More »


GONE IN 60 MINUTES?

Quicker trade-in process keeps focus on new-car deal

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
Dealerships are searching for ways that get customers through the trade-in appraisal as quickly and painlessly as possible.... Read More »


GONE IN 60 MINUTES?

High-volume Chevy dealership attacks sticking points that slow deals

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
Berger Chevrolet, a single-point family store under the fourth-generation leadership of dealer principal Matt Berger, pursues speedy transactions of 60 minutes, 90 minutes at the outside.... Read More »


GONE IN 60 MINUTES?

Sonic targets 1-price, 45-minute transactions

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 22, 2014
Sonic Automotive is spending tens of millions of dollars to transform the customer buying experience in the company's dealerships. The goal is to get buyers in and out the door faster.... Read More »


Lenders: Battle for auto loans heating up

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Wall Street analysts fret about the growth in subprime auto lending and the inherent risks of consumer defaults. But the superprime and prime segments are heating up, too, some lenders say.... Read More »


Q&A

The case for selling service contracts well after a new-vehicle purchase

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Dealerships really ought to pitch extended service contracts to customers who didn't buy at the time of purchase, says Ken Murer, founder of Automotive Product Consultants Integrated Services Group.... Read More »


SunTrust expands auto lending westward

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
SunTrust Banks is expanding its auto-dealer financial services to Dallas, Chicago and Boston, outside its traditional footprint in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.... Read More »


Most big dealership groups lift F&I revenue

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Finance and insurance revenue is rising at an overwhelming majority of the nation's largest dealership groups.... Read More »


Automakers driving banks from buoyant new-car market, financing

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Captives are providing subsidies from automakers, lowering monthly payments and extending loan terms to make it easier for buyers to drive away in a shiny, new vehicle -- creating formidable competition for banks and other lenders.... Read More »


Ding-and-dent products gain from leasing, bundling

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2014
Sales of so-called ding-and-dent products have increased at some dealerships, benefiting from two unrelated trends: the rise of leasing and wider use of short menus in the F&I office.... Read More »


U.S. House bills would constrain CFPB

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2014
The Republican Party-dominated U.S. House of Representatives, with the encouragement of lobbyists for dealers and automotive lenders, has taken steps to constrain the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.... Read More »


Dealer doesn't charge for powertrain warranty for now

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2014
Rick Case Automotive Group is offering a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on some used cars and trucks, excluding those covered by manufacturer certification. But it is not charging a premium for those vehicles -- at least not yet.... Read More »


Why the 72-month auto loan isn't causing jitters -- yet

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
Lenders are boosting auto sales and commanding higher transaction prices by extending loan terms. Is the industry flirting with another 2008, or is the risk limited?... Read More »


Product menus: Shorter is better

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
At Germain Nissan in Columbus, Ohio, customers typically are pitched five products when they finalize their vehicle purchase in the finance and insurance office.... Read More »


Loan application blasts could be a blow to dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
Technology makes it easy for finance and insurance managers to blast credit applications across a wide spectrum of lenders, called shotgunning, rather than matching the right consumer with the right lender.... Read More »


At Miami store, no more 'beat up' customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
F&I managers at Dadeland Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in Miami are responsible for the gross profits from both vehicle sales and F&I and handle vehicle purchase negotiations with customers as well as financing. They also get a cut of both to motivate them.... Read More »


Most big dealership groups lift F&I revenue

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
Finance and insurance revenue is rising at an overwhelming majority of the nation's largest dealership groups.... Read More »


Roaring Westlake on prowl for its next lion

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
Now that Don Hankey has turned 70, after more than 40 years of building Westlake Financial Services out of the used-car department of his family's struggling Ford dealership, he is turning his attention to recruiting a successor.... Read More »


For some, buy-here, pay-here makes sense -- and profits

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2014
As a Byrider buy-here, pay-here franchisee Gary Tillery funds his customers' loans himself through his own finance arm.... Read More »


Credit union pilot aims at subprime business

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2014
Many credit unions still shy away from subprime auto loans. But a national trade group is trying to remedy that with a pilot program involving 14 credit unions interested in starting up or increasing subprime auto loan penetration.... Read More »


More growth in auto loans, report shows

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2014
Outstanding auto loans and leases combined hit $884 billion as of April 30, a record high and a 10.8 percent increase from the same date a year ago, credit bureau Equifax reported this week.... Read More »


FTC crackdown on Consumer Portfolio Services start of 'regulatory onslaught'

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2014
Last week's consent order with subprime lender Consumer Portfolio Services won't be the last time the FTC targets an auto lender for fairness in collections and loan servicing rather than discrimination in loan originations, lawyers say.... Read More »


Auto loan terms, monthly payments hit high in Q1, Experian says

8:30 am U.S. ET | June 2, 2014
The average loan term, average monthly payment and average amount financed for a new light-vehicle hit record highs in the first quarter, signaling consumers in the United States continue to extend themselves to afford pricier cars, Experian...... Read More »


Consumer Portfolio Services to pay $5.5 million for illegal credit practices

2:50 pm U.S. ET | May 29, 2014
Consumer Portfolio Services, a major subprime auto lender, agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission more than $5.... Read More »


F&I grabs bigger slice of dealership gross profits

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 28, 2014
F&I's contribution to dealership gross profits continues to grow, despite a slight decrease in new-vehicle sales penetration for extended-service contracts, new statistics show. F&I accounted for 38.... Read More »


Why it’s time to court credit unions

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 28, 2014
It’s time for dealerships to embrace customers’ ties with their neighborhood credit unions and quit trying to steer them to other lenders.... Read More »


Auto financing remains robust

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 28, 2014
The auto finance market keeps on growing despite a few cautionary notes, first-quarter numbers from Experian Automotive show. Total dollar volume for all outstanding auto loans was $811.3 billion for the quarter.... Read More »


Auto loan delinquencies 'remain stable' even as loan debt rises

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 21, 2014
Auto loan delinquencies barely increased in the first quarter despite a continuing rise in car loan debt, credit bureau TransUnion says.
... Read More »


Q&A

GM Financial bulks up compliance staff amid CFPB oversight

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 21, 2014
GM Financial, like other auto lenders, is gearing up for much closer monitoring of loans originated via dealerships to head off the possibility of discrimination charges from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.... Read More »


EFG launches long-term service contracts aimed at new-car buyers

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 21, 2014
Service contract administrator EFG Companies has launched an extended service contract for new vehicles that doubles the term of the powertrain portion of a manufacturer’s new-car warranty.... Read More »


FTC investigates biweekly payments

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating biweekly payments as a product sold in dealership F&I departments, according to a memo the National Automobile Dealers Association sent members last week.... Read More »


Lenders, under glare of CFPB, revamp dealership monitoring programs

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2014
The lack of specific guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on what constitutes price discrimination in auto loans has led several lenders to revamp their dealership monitoring programs based on the $98 million consent order in the...... Read More »


Mercedes dangles free maintenance on select pre-owned models

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2014
Mercedes-Benz USA is temporarily offering no-charge scheduled maintenance and two months’ worth of payments free for certain certified pre-owned vehicles.... Read More »


Fifth Third's auto lending scrutinized by Feds

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2014
Fifth Third Bank last week joined a list of auto lenders under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for auto lending practices.... Read More »


Looking beyond buyers' credit scores

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 12, 2014
It's a finance and insurance manager's biggest challenge: a customer who's ready to buy but has no credit score.... Read More »


Outsmart the fake pay stub

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 7, 2014
Missing pay stubs are pitfalls for finance and insurance managers. Finance managers don’t want to ask a potential customer to go home and get a couple of pay stubs to verify his or her income. That customer may not come back.... Read More »


Q&A

How one Texas dealer harnesses scanners to thwart ID theft

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 7, 2014
Benny Boyd Auto Group in Texas is using scanners to detect fake IDs after the company lost four cars obtained through identity theft a couple of years ago.... Read More »


Ally boosts used-car loans, diversifies business

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 7, 2014
Ally Financial Inc. is doing more leasing, more used-vehicle loans and more loans to dealerships with brands other than those of General Motors and Chrysler, all in line with a strategy it previously laid out.... Read More »


Bank turns to flat fee

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2014
BMO Harris Bank in Chicago has switched from dealer reserve to a flat fee to compensate dealerships for arranging auto loans. The fee is 3 percent of the amount financed, up to a maximum fee of $2,000, for contracts that are 36 months or longer.... Read More »


Ally Q1 net income declines in first report since IPO

12:28 pm U.S. ET | May 1, 2014
Ally Financial, the lender rescued by the federal government during the 2008 financial crisis, said profit fell 79 percent in its first report as a publicly traded company.... Read More »


BMO Harris Bank switches to flat fees in fair lending push

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2014
BMO Harris Bank in Chicago has switched from dealer reserve to flat fees as its method of compensating dealerships for arranging auto loans.... Read More »


GM Financial tests prime-risk auto loans

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2014
GM Financial has launched a pilot program for prime-risk auto loans in two states as a prelude to more widespread prime-risk lending.... Read More »


Public retailers reap first-quarter F&I gains

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2014
The full-court press to sell more extended service contracts and other F&I products is working for the six publicly traded new-car dealership groups, with each posting first-quarter gains in F&I revenue per vehicle retailed... Read More »


N.Y. regulators sue Condor Capital, accusing it of withholding refunds

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2014
New York state regulators have sued Condor Capital Corp., a subprime auto lender in Hauppauge, N.Y., which they accused of withholding refunds that should have been paid to customers.... Read More »


N.Y. regulators sue Condor Capital, accusing it of withholding refunds

3:22 pm U.S. ET | April 24, 2014
New York state regulators Wednesday sued Condor Capital Corp., a subprime auto lender in Hauppauge, N.Y., which they accused of withholding refunds that should have been paid to customers.... Read More »


F&I results rise at 3 public retailers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2014
The first publicly traded new-car dealership groups to report first quarter results -- AutoNation, Sonic Automotive and Asbury Automotive Group -- all reported higher average F&I revenue per vehicle, as part of a trend toward slow but steady...... Read More »


Q&A

Mopar's F&I sales could spark 'almost 6 million' service visits

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2014
Mopar’s F&I product volume last year reached 1.5 million contracts in the United States and nearly 2 million contracts worldwide. That’s significant, Mopar chief Pietro Gorlier says.
... Read More »


Ally IPO opens new options for subprime car loans

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
Ally Financial's initial public offering last week benefits dealers because Ally expects to be able to compete more aggressively for subprime business after it sheds government ownership.... Read More »


NADA's fixed-rate plan gets lawyers' backing

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
The National Automobile Dealers Association's program for dealerships to establish a fixed rate for dealer reserve was strongly endorsed by legal experts at the Automotive Resource Network conference in New York this week.... Read More »


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