Suppliers prepare for self-driving bonanza

In 2020, automakers are expected to produce nearly 86 million vehicles equipped with collision-avoidance systems. It's a potential bonanza for big parts makers, including those that dominate the annual Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers.

Can Kuhnt get BMW back on track?

BMW dealers say they need fresh product, more trucks, competitive lease rates and a return to the "Ultimate Driving Machine" days. They're looking at Bernhard Kuhnt for help.

Mexican auto suppliers strategize for NAFTA talks

While President Donald Trump points the finger at automakers making cars south of the border, the Mexican auto parts sector has even more at stake.

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AutoGravity launches national TV ads

AutoGravity, a car shopping and financing mobile app and web platform, is aiming to catch the eyes of more consumers with a national TV campaign debuting this week.

Credit unions lead auto balance growth

Credit unions as a group reaped higher auto balance growth in the first quarter than any other lender type, according to Experian. Credit unions continue to improve their dealership relationships and support a diverse portfolio to stay competitive with banks and captives, experts said.

Help customers understand repairs are probable

Ask customers about their driving habits to identify how they could benefit from a service contract in addition to the manufacturer's warranty, suggests John Vecchioni, F&I trainer for American Financial & Automotive Services Inc. "The manufacturer's limited warranty is based on possible versus probable," he said. The warranty will cover a part that was improperly installed, for example, but when the warranty expires, it is probable that the customer would need coverage for another issue.

CFPB reformers move forward

Within the past week, the U.S. House of Representatives and President Donald Trump's administration have taken steps to reform the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the consumer watchdog agency it created, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

VW Credit creates new chief digital officer post

Banking veteran Charles Moore will join VW Credit as senior vice president of marketing and chief digital officer July 5. The finance arm for the Volkswagen and Audi brands created the chief digital officer position "to further promote our business strategy of competing on service and help support achieving our vision of becoming 'the key to mobility,'" CEO Horst Meima said.

Speedier funding could hinge on 2 documents

Ask every customer for proof of income and residency, advises Tony Dupaquier, director of The Academy. Many lenders approve loans without that information initially but ask for additional documentation later, he said. “This is creating massive funding delays for dealerships all across the country. We are seeing delays with primary finance companies needing additional documentation prior to funding the deal.”

Even if customers are wrong, they're right

Mishandling customer disputes can cost dealerships more in negative word-of-mouth than the disputed item is worth. Here's how some dealers work to ensure that at their stores, the customer is always right.

Online intros could draw Gen Y to F&I products

Millennials are more cost-conscious than Gen Xers or baby boomers, according to a Cox Automotive study, but transparency and online F&I product introductions could sway them to open their wallets for add-ons.

How to break through the F&I roadblock

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 sales staffers develop presentation styles that help F&I skeptics sort through their misgivings.

Big auto lenders save up for higher losses

Some of the biggest U.S. auto lenders are socking away significantly more money to cover higher losses ahead. The upshot for dealers and customers is likely to be tighter credit down the road, especially in subprime.

How vehicle data could help drive F&I sales

In the future, vehicles will send data to dealerships and F&I product vendors directly, helping them to determine which products car owners need and when, industry insiders predict.