Finance and Insurance Newsletter

Roaring Westlake on prowl for its next lion

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 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 »

 

Loan application blasts could be a blow to dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 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. Some dealership groups and auto finance experts say shotgunning can harm a dealership's relationships with customers and lenders alike.... Read More »

 

Stuart leaves VW Credit to become CEO of TD Auto

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 9, 2014
Andrew Stuart, the CEO of captive finance arm Volkswagen Credit, is leaving to become TD Bank's auto-lending chief.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Don't do much leasing? Better bone up

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 2, 2014
Leasing's not just for luxury brands anymore. It's spreading to mass-market brands too, experts say.... Read More »

 

Dealer-backed laws limit captives' power to compel sales of branded F&I products

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 2, 2014
Several states have adopted laws that limit the power of automakers' captive finance companies and preferred lenders to compel dealerships to sell F&I products backed by the factory or a specific vendor.... Read More »

 

Courting F&I business: A primer for lenders

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 2, 2014
What do F&I managers really want from auto lenders? Availability, for one thing, says F&I veteran Sarah Richard Denton.... Read More »

 

Hyundai Capital offers free credit scores

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 2, 2014
Hyundai Capital America has begun rolling out a program to offer customers free access to their FICO credit scores, starting with Hyundai and Kia buyers who get their loans through the brands' “College Grad” incentive programs.... Read More »

 

At Miami store, no more 'beat up' customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 2, 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 »

 

2-year leases take off at Toyota

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 30, 2014
Toyota is seeing a strong shift into two-year leases this year, a trend that promises quicker customer turnarounds and fuller used-car inventories down the road.... Read More »

 

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

Until Macans arrive, buyers offered short leases on other Porsches

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 30, 2014
U.S. buyers of the new Porsche Macan, which went on sale in May, face a wait of more than six months for delivery. So the company is trying to keep potential Macan buyers happy by putting them in other Porsches during the wait.... Read More »

 

CFPB promises clarity on discrimination; NADA skeptical

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has promised to provide members of Congress with a white paper later this summer that will explain in more detail how it detects discrimination in auto loans.... Read More »

 

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
Gary Tillery wants every customer who walks into his J.D. Byrider used-vehicle lot in Albuquerque, N.M., to drive off in a vehicle they will pay for and like.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Ally moves closer to independence, cheaper money

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
Ally Financial will move one step closer toward independence from government ownership next month when two of its three remaining board members nominated by the U.S. Treasury step down from the board.... Read More »

 

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 »

 

Why it's time to put F&I online

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
It's common practice at many dealerships to keep F&I products under wraps until customers are in the last stages of a car purchase. But is it wise? Executives from auto shopping sites AutoTrader.com and Edmunds.com say no.... Read More »

 

Subprime lenders finance smaller share of CarMax sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
The percentage of CarMax vehicles purchased with loans from subprime lenders declined to 16.1 percent in the company’s fiscal quarter ending May 31, from 21.3 percent a year earlier, the nation’s largest used-vehicle retailer said.... 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 »

 

JIM HENRY

Who makes irrational loans? Not Me

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Are the gremlins at it again in auto loans? Maybe they're to blame for so-called irrational competition, presumably the result of lenders making unprofitable loans to gain market share.... 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. Not only do dealerships miss a profit opportunity by ignoring those customers, he says, they also open up their customers to an assault by direct-to-consumer marketers.... 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. And some said they're seeing tougher competition as they expand into higher credit tiers.... 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 »

 

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 »

 

JIM HENRY

U.S. House action on CFPB is symbolic

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2014
The auto finance industry, auto dealers, and their mostly Republican allies in Congress continue to make it clear they don’t like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or how it was set up in 2010.... 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 »

 

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