Finance and Insurance Newsletter

Old repair bill is a powerful tool for F&I team

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 19, 2014
When the air conditioning compressor in LeAnna Cowan's car failed in the Las Vegas heat, the $1,250 repair bill wasn't a hardship.... Read More »

 

Dealers, captives battle in statehouses

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 19, 2014
A battle is heating up in several state capitals as dealer associations face off against carmakers and their captive finance companies over proposed state laws governing the sale of F&I products.... Read More »

 

Off F&I menus, LoJack sales perk up

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 17, 2014
A couple of years ago, LoJack Corp. was starting to look like an afterthought. Then company CEO Randy Ortiz had an insight: Get LoJack out of the F&I department -- where it often got lost on menus listing a dozen or so products -- and into the showroom.... Read More »

 

Public dealer groups keep raising the F&I bar

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2014
It's getting tougher for the public new-car retailers to post big percentage increases in F&I revenue per vehicle retailed, following a decade of almost continuous growth that, after the downturn, reached new highs.... Read More »

 

That customer's claimed income may be too…low

11:15 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2014
Strange as it seems, it's not uncommon for people, when they fill out credit applications, to mistakenly understate how much they earn. "There is an opportunity to maybe buy deeper," said Craig Leabig, senior director of product management at Equifax Verification Services, during a Webinar Tuesday hosted by Equifax and Moody's.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Increase in loan delinquencies return to 'norm,' Capital One exec says

10:45 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2014
Recent industry talk about higher auto loan delinquencies has caused concern among some that banks might pull back from auto lending. Sanjiv Yajnik, president of financial services at Capital One Auto Finance, says his company is as enthusiastic as ever.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Consumer site wants buyers to pay less for vehicles

10:30 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2014
The consumer advice Web site Interest.com offers prudent financial guidance to keep car buyers out of debt so they can spend more on other priorities. Lucky for the auto industry, few people seem to be taking that advice.... Read More »

 

Many dealers warn: Accept a gift and get fired

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2014
Dealerships' prohibitions against incentives, and the enforcement of those prohibitions, are likely to be ratcheted higher due to concerns that federal regulators are looking more closely at F&I products and how they are priced.... Read More »

 

What's an F&I pro worth?

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2014
On average, F&I managers earn fatter paychecks than people in any other key dealership position except the general manager, according to the 2013 NADA Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report. Some dealers are beginning to rethink that.... Read More »

 

Lenders keep watchful eye as new-vehicle loan terms grow

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 5, 2014
For the time being, F&I managers can probably count on lenders to keep approving extra-long loan terms to offset higher loan amounts.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Why the F&I office still matters

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 5, 2014
A recent McKinsey study says one of the main reasons consumers still come to a brick-and-mortar dealership instead of buying cars online is to get questions answered about finance and insurance that can't be addressed, or can't be answered “conclusively,” online.... Read More »

 

BMW's captive adds balloon note feature on i3 EV

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 5, 2014
BMW Group Financial Services plans to launch a new feature for its OwnersChoice balloon note payment plan that will apply only to the BMW i3 electric vehicle.... Read More »

 

Leases boom, aided by high residual values

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 5, 2014
Leasing has hit the highest levels ever recorded by the Power Information Network and by Experian Automotive.... Read More »

 

Q&A

More auto lenders willing to finance GPS system

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 26, 2014
GPS systems supplier Inilex has been successful lately in getting its SkyLink GPS-based anti-theft system approved by auto lenders for financing on vehicle loan contracts, a big selling point for auto dealers.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

The disconnect lingers between auto finance and the CFPB

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 26, 2014
The auto finance industry and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have a fundamental disconnect. The auto finance industry sees itself as unique while the CFPB sees it as just one more consumer finance sector, essentially not that different from mortgages, credit cards or student loans.... Read More »

 

Auto delinquencies remain low despite uptick, TransUnion says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 26, 2014
Auto loan delinquencies edged up in the fourth quarter but remained low and should stay low for the time being, credit reporting firm TransUnion says. The company's findings, released yesterday, bode well for dealerships trying to get subprime customers financed, since low delinquencies encourage auto lenders to stick with easier lending standards.... Read More »

 

Drive for robust F&I menus spurs vendor mergers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 26, 2014
Get ready for some name changes -- at the very least -- among the F&I vendors you work with. More mergers and acquisitions are likely in the F&I products space this year, F&I administrators say. F&I vendors are motivated to combine so they can offer a complete menu of F&I products instead of specializing in one or two. Full menus can be more convenient and attractive to dealerships than dealing with multiple vendors.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Auto loans just keep growing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2014
Auto loans had another double-digit growth spurt in the fourth quarter, Experian Automotive reports.
Total auto loan balances outstanding reached $798.5 billion in the quarter, an increase of 11 percent from the 2012 period and the highest total since Experian started publishing its numbers in 2007. The third-quarter total of $782.9 billion had also been a high, up 15 percent from the same 2012 period.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Wells Fargo sticks with dealer reserve

7:33 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2014
As Wells Fargo monitors the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's campaign to get lenders to switch to flat fees or some other way of compensating dealerships for arranging loans, the bank is pressing lenders to adopt good compliance programs with a focus on fair lending.... Read More »

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls for detailed auto lending rules from the CFPB

7:33 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2014
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pressing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to write what would amount to a compliance handbook for auto lenders. In a letter last week to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, the chamber called for the CFPB to provide auto lenders with specific rules for loans arranged at dealerships instead of forcing companies to interpret and apply guidelines tailored for individual lenders as part of “one-off” enforcement actions.... Read More »

 

Public group F&I results strike gold in Q4

7:33 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2014
All six large publicly traded new-car retailers reported higher average F&I revenues per vehicle in the fourth quarter vs. the year-earlier period. The gains reflected ongoing efforts to increase sales penetration for F&I products such as extended service contracts, GAP and prepaid maintenance.... Read More »

 

Q&A

JM&A: Pursue compliance, consistency for the sake of consumers – and the CFPB

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 12, 2014
Some F&I administrators have said they're concerned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could go after F&I products this year the way it has campaigned against dealership's discretion in setting customer interest rates on auto loans. But Forrest Heathcott, president of F&I administrator JM&A Group, says that so far, he hasn't seen any indication the CFPB is targeting F&I products.... Read More »

 

Public group F&I results hit high note in Q4

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 12, 2014
Group 1 Automotive's U.S. operations set a record with average F&I revenue per vehicle retailed of $1,418 in the fourth quarter, an increase of 9 percent from the same period a year ago. The first publicly traded new-car retailers to report fourth-quarter earnings -- Group 1, AutoNation and Asbury Automotive -- all topped an average of $1,300 in F&I revenue per vehicle retailed.... Read More »

 

Dealer reserve caps catch on

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 12, 2014
The notion of capping dealer reserve and documenting exceptions as a way for auto dealers and lenders to avoid possible allegations of discrimination is gaining industry acceptance.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

No need to panic as big banks pare dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 12, 2014
Recent news that Chase Auto Finance and TD Auto Finance are looking to trim their dealership networks brought swift reactions of “Here we go again” from some members of the dealership F&I community.... Read More »

 

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