Dealers

JAMIE LaREAU

F&I jobs hold a powerful lure for women

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
It seems women are keen to work in the finance and insurance department. In fact, F&I has the highest percentage of women employees in a dealership, after the office/administration department.... Read More »

 

Faster is better in F&I, Power survey shows

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
The latest J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index Study underscores how important it is to get customers in and out of the F&I office as quickly as possible.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Westlake aims for 20% growth in 2015

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
Westlake Financial Services, traditionally a subprime auto lender, has branched out into near-prime and prime-risk lending, plus commercial lending to dealerships. Last month, the privately held Los Angeles company said it was opening a sales office in Dallas to better serve the Midwest and Texas.... Read More »

 

Online F&I product sales a 'struggle'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Dealership staffers must either present F&I products to customers when they take delivery of their car or contact them later by phone, says Lou Bregou, a director of operations at Driver's Village. Selling F&I online is "an uphill struggle," he says. "We're not there yet."... Read More »

 

ONWARD ONLINE

After decades of store confinement, the F&I office is inching digital

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Lou Bregou, a director of operations at Driver's Village in Cicero, N.Y., says he has embraced putting financing tools on the dealership group's e-commerce website. Why not? The features that enable online car shoppers to get firm financing quotes, monthly payment calculations and trade-in values are helping the 16-dealership, 20-franchise group sell vehicles.... Read More »

 

Bergstrom on Buffett, Musk, life as dealer

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
John Bergstrom once begged Roger Smith for a GM franchise. Today the head of Wisconsin's largest dealership group sits on the Green Bay Packer board and counts Warren Buffett as a friend. In this profile, Bergstrom, 67, tips his hat to those who taught him how to treat customers well and gives credit to Tesla's Elon Musk. He also shows healthy respect for a business that “will eat you up if you don't stay on top” of it.... Read More »

 

Finance managers found on showroom floor

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
After working as a sales representative for almost two years at Atlantic Hyundai in West Islip, N.Y., Russell Williamson was ready for more responsibility and the chance to earn more money.
Enter Atlantic Auto Group's new bullpen training program to develop finance managers. Williamson told his sales manager in the spring that he was interested in moving to the finance and insurance department. In June and July, he went through Atlantic's F&I bullpen training classes.... Read More »

 

F&I, sales managers see paychecks converge

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
The days of fat paychecks for finance and insurance managers may be ending. Many F&I managers are earning compensation more in line with their dealership management peers, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2014 Dealership Workforce Study.... Read More »

 

High salesperson turnover getting worse, study finds

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
In 2013, the average dealership had a 66 percent turnover rate among sales consultants, up 4 percentage points from the previous year and well above the national average for the private sector of 42 percent, the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2014 Dealership Workforce Study found.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Creative pairing: 2 dealers innovate as partners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
After toiling to revitalize separate single-point dealerships in the Detroit area, two childhood friends merged and expanded operations to compete with larger groups. "It's not an acquisition, but a partnership," says Sam Slaughter. The distinction is key.... Read More »

 

Toyota parts delivery scores with dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Parts Director Danny Perez saves $100 to $400 a day in rental-car costs thanks to Same Day Service, a parts distribution program run by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.... Read More »

 

Used-car buyers are big F&I opportunity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Otto Belovich believes it is a disservice to his customers -- especially those who buy used vehicles -- if he doesn't offer them the opportunity to purchase a service contract.... Read More »

 

25 with Toyota

Dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Jim Brown, dealer principal at Classic Toyota-Scion in Mentor, Ohio, receives a 25-year award for Toyota from Scott Wracher, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s Cincinnati regional general manager.... Read More »

 

Appearance products fight to stay on menu

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Shorter F&I product menus are crowding all but a few top sellers right off the menu, which can leave vehicle appearance products, such exterior finish and fabric protection, fighting for a spot.... Read More »

 

Group pushes states on F&I product rules

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Worry that federal regulators' crackdown on dealer markup might spill over into F&I products is revving an industry trade group's efforts to get state-by-state legal definitions for those products, and rules for how they're sold, on the books.... Read More »

 

Dealerships grapple with regulations allowing service dogs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 7, 2014
Dealerships can face litigation if they don't know the rules about how to deal with customers who require service dogs. The issue is complicated by people who claim, incorrectly, that their pets are service dogs. But that doesn't get businesses off the hook.... Read More »

 

GM replacing keys on 2014-15 trucks to prevent ignition shutoff

1:07 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 5, 2014
GM is replacing ignition keys on its newest trucks because of a design problem that can cause the shift lever to bump the key and shut off the engine. GM said its investigators determined that the issue was not a safety defect because it occurs only when the driver has a foot on the brake and is shifting gears. Rather than a safety recall, GM issued a technical service bulletin to dealers on Nov. 6, instructing them to replace keys for customers who complain of a problem.... Read More »

 

AutoNation sales up 6% in November

3:19 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
Strong truck sales helped AutoNation to a 6 percent increase in new-vehicle sales in November. New-vehicle sales for AutoNation, the country's largest dealership group, were 27,055 in November, with increases from all of the company's operating segments.... Read More »

 

Average new-car loan hits 8-year high of $27,799

8:04 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
The average amount financed to buy a vehicle is the highest it has been in eight years, according Experian Automotive. Average monthly payments rose in the third quarter despite consumers' continued willingness to turn to leasing and longer loan lengths to keep payments down.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Auto finance benefits from looser purse strings

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
U.S. households have closed the book on a “deleveraging period,” the government's fancy way of saying households have quit spending less and saving more. And that's good news for auto financing.... Read More »

 

Aluminum wave may mean more dent & ding policies

8:04 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
The growing use of aluminum in car bodies to save weight and fuel could create an opportunity for dealership F&I departments to sell more paintless dent removal policies, some F&I experts say.... Read More »

 

Dealers offer better hours, but still see high sales turnover, NADA study finds

8:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
U.S. car dealerships are making progress in offering employees a better work-life balance, but continue to face challenges in retaining sales staff and recruiting women. Those were some key findings in the National Automobile Dealers Association's third annual Dealership Workforce Study released today.... Read More »

 

NOVEMBER U.S. AUTO SALES

Light trucks, holiday discounts drive volume up 5%

8:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 2, 2014
Spurred by a 20 percent gain at Chrysler Group and aided by Black Friday discounts and light-truck demand, U.S. light-vehicle sales jumped 5 percent last month, pushing the annualized pace of deliveries above 17 million for the second time this year. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.2 million fell shy of August's 17.5 million. But it showed that demand remains robust as the industry winds up its fifth year of recovery since the recession.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Mini store wants customers singing its praises

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014
Surprising and treating customers to extras is part of a program Mini USA started in July to boost its image as a premium brand.... Read More »

 

Toyota's lending arm acused of discriminatory loan pricing by U.S.

12:54 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014
Toyota Motor Credit could face an enforcement action from U.S. authorities over its pricing of auto loans through dealerships and could be forced to reimburse borrowers or pay a fine, the company said.... Read More »

 

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, 5th-generation dealer Jamie Richter, acting on his dad's advice, has taken luxury-hotel touches and applied them to his newly built showroom. Mon., December 15
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