Finance and Insurance Newsletter

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 »

 

ONWARD ONLINE

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 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 »

 

JIM HENRY

Who distorted what? Wording of CFPB statement will get its own investigation

11:30 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
The ombudsman’s office for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would conduct an independent review into complaints that the CFPB’s press releases don’t match the consent orders they describe -- something auto finance insiders have complained about bitterly but privately, for fear of provoking the bureau.
... Read More »

 

Lenders dispute CFPB's proposed threshold for oversight

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in its effort to extend its jurisdiction over “nonbank” auto lenders such as captive and independent finance companies, is reaching for lenders that are too small, the American Financial Services Association said.... Read More »

 

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 »

 

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 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 »

 

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 »

 

GM Financial ready to compete in 2015

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
General Motors' captive finance company, GM Financial, is finally ready for prime time.... 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 »

 

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Dealer missteps do not a lender meltdown make

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 6, 2014
It shouldn't surprise anybody if heightened regulatory scrutiny on car lending reveals some transactions where a dealership has disregarded the rules on loan paperwork. But it's a mistake to jump from that reality to any suggestion that there is something rotten in the structure of the vehicle lending industry.... 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 »

 

Honda Finance may face U.S. penalty for discrimination in auto-loan pricing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
American Honda Finance said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and U.S. Department of Justice have concluded the company was responsible for illegal discrimination in pricing auto loans and could be disciplined unless it reaches a settlement with the federal agencies.... 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 »

 

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, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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