Finance and Insurance Newsletter

JIM HENRY

'Flat-rate model,' yes. Flat fees, maybe not.

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
One veteran F&I vendor predicts that in 2015 more lenders will probably adopt a “flat-rate model” to pay dealerships for arranging auto loans.... Read More »

 

F&I manager welcomes dogs, closes deals

11:30 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
At some Subaru dealerships, the staff goes all out to help customers finalize and finance a new-car deal, including dog sitting. At Bryan Subaru in New Orleans, finance and insurance manager Jennifer Belisle's “to do” list even includes an unusual task: Order more poop bags.... Read More »

 

More thin files? Technology can help

11:45 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
Dealerships and auto lenders are encountering an increase in “thin files” -- loan applicants who don't have enough credit history to generate a credit score using traditional methods, experts said in a series of interviews and presentations.... Read More »

 

Ally sells last of its overseas operations to GM Financial

11:30 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
Ally Financial has stripped down to its core businesses: U.S. auto finance, F&I products such as extended service contracts, commercial loans to dealers, and online retail banking. The company jettisoned the last of its noncore operations when it completed the sale of its auto financing joint-venture unit in China to General Motors' captive finance company, GM Financial, for $1 billion.... Read More »

 

Q&A

EFG executive Stephens looks into his 2015 crystal ball

11:30 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
Fixed dealership compensation for arranging auto loans likely will gain traction in 2015, predicts John Stephens, senior vice president of dealer services at EFG Cos., a major F&I administrator.... Read More »

 

Appearance products fight to stay on menu

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 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 as exterior finish and fabric protection, fighting for a spot.... Read More »

 

CarMax extends yearlong subprime test

10:30 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2014
Used-car giant CarMax says it needs more time to evaluate a subprime lending pilot program at its finance arm. CarMax CFO Tom Reedy said the test will continue at least long enough to capture results from shoppers purchasing vehicles with their income-tax refunds in 2015.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Wishing auto lenders a happy, rational new year

10:30 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2014
Auto lenders are about to embark on another year of worry that the other guy will go “irrational” and start making money-losing loans to gain U.S. market share. They fret they'll be forced to decide whether to give up share or follow suit, sparking losses.... Read More »

 

Pay plans, GM and regulation were hot topics in 2014

10:15 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2014
Information about everyday dealership operations was the biggest draw this year for readers of Automotive News' weekly F&I Report. Five of the 10 best-read stories dealt with day-to-day business, including the top two items: The story behind a list of dealership slang and how to outsmart the fake pay stub.... Read More »

 

5 F&I trends to watch in 2015

10:45 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2014
From political pushback on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to shorter F&I transaction times and growing oversight by captives, a look at key F&I trends on the horizon in the new year.... Read More »

 

Group pushes states on F&I product rules

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 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 »

 

Dealership settles with FTC over '$1' ads

3:31 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission, as part of an ongoing crackdown on deceptive dealership advertising for finance deals, has reached a proposed settlement with a dealership in suburban Dallas.... Read More »

 

Aluminum wave could boost dent-repair policies

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 2014
Automakers' growing use of aluminum body parts 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 »

 

Mixed results for 2014 F&I predictions

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 2014
In January, we noted five trends that F&I experts predicted could affect your business this year. All turned out to be worth watching, but just two -- “Dealer reserve under fire” and “Training and more training” lived up to the hype.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Consent orders and the law of unintended consequences

11:14 am U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau quietly terminated a consent order with Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank last month, a contrast to the fuss it made in announcing the agreement in June 2013.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Behind Gateway One's 'high-tech, high-touch' approach

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 2014
Gateway One Lending & Finance, a relatively small but growing auto lender, assigns dedicated teams to specific dealerships, to encourage closer dealer relationships. COO Todd Pierson refers to the strategy as “high-tech, high-touch.”... Read More »

 

Used-car buyers are big F&I opportunity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 23, 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 »

 

JIM HENRY

Free of U.S. ownership, Ally expects cheaper funds, maybe more subprime deals

3:13 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 19, 2014
Ally Financial is “free at last,” to borrow a phrase CEO Michael Carpenter used earlier this year to describe how it would feel for Ally finally to put six years of government ownership behind it.... Read More »

 

Forecasters see bigger loans, only modest uptick in delinquencies

11:45 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2014
Favorable trends for auto lending should continue into 2015, including bigger average loans and leases and only small increases in delinquencies, analysts for credit bureaus TransUnion and Equifax predict.... Read More »

 

Incoming AIADA head vows to speak out on CFPB

10:15 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2014
Bradley Hoffman, incoming chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, says he plans to speak out about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's controversial positions on automotive lending.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Will the CFPB redefine “larger”?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2014
Auto industry watchers that formally weighed in on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s definition of “larger” auto lenders took predictable positions before the public comment period closed last week.... Read More »

 

Ally, Wells Fargo prefer profit over volume

11:30 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2014
Ally Financial and Wells Fargo Dealer Services, two of the nation’s largest auto lenders, say growing competition has them ready to sacrifice market share to protect profits.... Read More »

 

Acura boss sees rise in leasing in 2015

11:15 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2014
Acura should see a “steady lift,” rather than a big jump, in leases as a portion of its U.S. sales volume in 2015, the brand's general manager says. Leases now account for less than 40 percent of Acura’s volume, below the luxury segment’s average.... Read More »

 

Online F&I product sales a 'struggle'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 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 »

 

In-store kiosks put F&I right in front of customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2014
Michael Fastman is buying kiosks for BMW of Silver Spring, in Silver Spring, Md., where he is general manager, and BMW of Catonsville, in Baltimore, where he is in charge of operations.... Read More »

 

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