Finance and Insurance Newsletter

Auto loans could get boost from revamped FICO scores

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 20, 2014
A planned update in the way FICO scores are calculated should help some borrowers qualify more easily for auto loans by putting less weight on overdue medical debt when calculating credit scores, according to Fair Isaac Corp.... Read More »

 

Canadians stretch out auto loans as debt warnings go ignored

5:34 am U.S. ET | Aug. 20, 2014
The average term of a light-vehicle loan in Canada is 69 months, close to a peak of 72 months set in the third quarter of 2013, according to J.D. Power. Longer-term car loans are leaving Canadians in debt for a longer time, analysts say. And the borrowing binge adds to signs Canadians are continuing to buy big-ticket items and tuning out warnings about unsustainable debt growth.... Read More »

 

JAMIE LaREAU

Skipping wheel-and-tire was big mistake

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 20, 2014
Wheel-and-tire insurance is a valuable product. There, I admit it. It's not the “snake oil” that a cynical friend once espoused it and other F&I products to be.... Read More »

 

Asbury targets underperformers, training as F&I gains stall

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 20, 2014
Asbury Automotive Group's improvement in average F&I revenues per vehicle retailed has stalled this year. Like other publicly traded auto retailers, Asbury plans to concentrate on squeezing improvements out of its bottom performers in F&I revenue per vehicle retailed.... Read More »

 

Subprime auto loan growth is 'less pronounced' in context, Fed analysts say

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 20, 2014
While auto lending is rising in all credit categories, subprime auto loans are growing the fastest because that segment dropped the most during the downturn, according to a study by four analysts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.... Read More »

 

U.S. Treasury to cut Ally stake

10:56 am U.S. ET | Aug. 14, 2014
The Treasury Department plans to cut its stake in Ally Financial by selling stock on the open market in its first divestiture since the company's initial public offering in April.... Read More »

 

Toyota: Favorable auto finance climate to continue driving U.S. retail volume

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 13, 2014
An auto finance environment favorable to many U.S. consumers will continue to provide a tailwind for higher retail auto sales in 2014, a top Toyota executive said Tuesday.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

N.Y. Times' demands are misguided

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 13, 2014
Subprime auto loans have gotten most of the attention, but an editorial in The New York Times on Saturday makes other demands dealers and lenders are sure to dislike.... Read More »

 

NADA, AFSA dispute New York Times editorial on subprime auto loans

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 13, 2014
Auto dealer and lender groups are howling in protest at an editorial in Saturday's New York Times that equated subprime auto loans with subprime mortgages. The groups insist there is no comparison between the two types of loans. At the same time, a recently disclosed U.S. Department of Justice investigation into subprime auto loans is very much part of the debate.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Flat fees for F&I products? It's possible

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 13, 2014
It's a matter of "when" rather than "if" U.S. regulators will force auto lenders to switch to flat fees from dealer reserve, says John Pappanastos, CEO of EFG Companies, a major F&I administrator. Flat fees for F&I products could follow, he says. And if that happens, he says dealerships likely will reap lower revenues per vehicle and try to make up for it by selling F&I products to a greater share of customers.... Read More »

 

Subprime lender learns FTC's 'not cutting any slack'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 11, 2014
Subprime auto lender Consumer Portfolio Services learned some costly but valuable lessons from a $5.5 million consent order with the Federal Trade Commission this year.... Read More »

 

High-tech toys drive service contract sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 11, 2014
In-vehicle, high-tech toys and consumers' urge to protect them are driving sales of extended service contracts, some finance and insurance professionals say.... Read More »

 

After probe of Santander, GM Financial, who's next among subprime auto lenders?

2:54 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 8, 2014
Other subprime auto lenders that issue asset-backed securities are wondering whether they're next after Santander Consumer USA followed GM Financial as the subject of a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

GM Financial subpoena shifts investigation away from dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2014
When dealers saw headlines saying the U.S. Department of Justice had subpoenaed GM Financial ast month to produce documents relating to its subprime auto loan contracts, they could be excused for worrying that this represented another threat to their arranging car loans for consumers.... Read More »

 

NEWS ANALYSIS

GM Financial subpoena opens new front in auto lending crackdown

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice opened a new front in a multifaceted crackdown on auto lending by federal regulators when it subpoenaed GM Financial last month to produce documents relating to its subprime auto loan contracts.... Read More »

 

Chrysler Capital seeks to regain retail share lost in Q2

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2014
Chrysler Capital, the preferred lender for Chrysler Group, cut back on some near-prime and subprime originations to Chrysler Group customers in April and May because competition had driven margins unattractively low, Santander Consumer USA, the lender behind Chrysler Capital, said last week during a conference call for investors.... Read More »

 

Ally's insurance operations reap fewer revenues in Q2

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2014
Ally Financial's revenue from the sale of extended service contracts dropped slightly in the second quarter, partly as a result of increasing lease volume. Ally's insurance operations took in $266 million in revenues in the second quarter, down from $271 million, or about 2 percent, from the year-earlier period.... Read More »

 

Penske taking steps to improve F&I revenue

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2014
Penske Automotive lags its publicly traded dealership-group peers in finance and insurance revenue per vehicle retailed, largely because Penske dealerships lease vehicles at rates above the industry average. But Chairman Roger Penske isn't content with the current F&I results. He wants to raise the numbers. And he's already seeing results.... Read More »

 

GM's subprime auto lending draws attention of U.S. investigators

5:04 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2014
Federal prosecutors are asking questions about the practices of GM's financing unit, subpoenaing the company in the midst of a resurgence in U.S. auto sales fueled partly by a subprime lending boom.... Read More »

 

COMMENTARY: JAMES B. TREECE

A failure to punish fails members

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
A New York Times report on July 20 cast some car dealerships once again as unscrupulous businesses. Both the NIADA and NADA issued strong statements against the practices outlined in the report. Fine, but what matters is action.... Read More »

 

Lenders listen to satisfy dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
As auto lenders seek to do a better job of serving dealers, there's no single solution, said Mark Kaczynski, CEO of captive finance company Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., which serves the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study, which was released last week, NMAC continued a pattern of steady improvement from prior years' results.... Read More »

 

Volume hot, profits not, for GM Financial, Ford Credit

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 30, 2014
North American auto loan and lease originations combined rose in the second quarter from the year-earlier period for both Ford Motor Co.'s and General Motors' captive finance companies.... Read More »

 

Dahlheim named CEO of VW Credit

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 30, 2014
VW Credit named CFO Christian Dahlheim CEO of the captive finance company today, succeeding Andrew Stuart, who left the company to become CEO of U.S. operations for TD Auto Finance.... Read More »

 

BMW Group tops dealer finance satisfaction survey

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 30, 2014
BMW Group Financial Services dominated nearly every category of J.D. Power's 2014 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study released this week.... Read More »

 

Group 1 leads peers in F&I revenue per vehicle; Penske trails again

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 30, 2014
Group 1 Automotive's 120 U.S. dealerships had the highest average F&I revenue per vehicle retailed in the second quarter among the six publicly traded new-car groups. It was the fourth quarter in a row that Group 1 posted higher results than its peers.... Read More »

 

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Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, second-generation dealers Ray and Rik Fregia have seen a 30 percent boost in sales this year, thanks largely to million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. Mon., September 15
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