Finance & Insurance

GM and Ally compete to grow F&I

12:34 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
GM is on a hiring binge to build a direct sales force for its branded F&I products as the company seeks a foothold in the competitive space. GM rolled out branded F&I products nationally last year while taking over the business from captive-finance arm GM Financial....
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FOILING FRAUD

Phony deals cost dealers reputation, vehicles and lenders

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
For employees in a dealership's finance and insurance office, spotting a potentially fraudulent deal is top priority. A mistake not only can cost a dealership a vehicle, it can hurt the store's reputation and its relationships with lenders. It's a challenge for all dealership groups....
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At Miami store, no more 'beat up' customers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
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....
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Loan application blasts could be a blow to dealers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
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....
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Outsmart the fake pay stub

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Missing pay stubs are pitfalls for finance and insurance managers. Finance managers don't want to ask a potential customer to go home and get a couple of pay stubs to verify his or her income. That customer may not come back. Even worse is the customer with a fake pay stub....
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Finance managers found on showroom floor

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
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....
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F&I departments need a farm team

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
The term “succession planning” is usually applied to dealer principals, but it can apply to F&I managers, too. Executives at two dealerships say store managers should nurture their own talent pool, so they have a ready replacement if a top F&I producer quits....
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Q&A

GM Financial is up to the full-service task

6:53 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
GM Financial will become the exclusive provider of subsidized leases for Buick-GMC dealerships on Feb. 3. Cadillac and Chevrolet will follow. Kyle Birch, GM Financial COO, talked with Staff Reporter Mike Colias about how it has grown leasing capabilities on its way to becoming GM's full-line captive financing arm....
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FCA projects 10% growth in U.S. retail sales for '15, extending streak

3:45 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
FCA US dealers were told to anticipate as much as 10 percent growth in their U.S. retail sales in 2015 as incremental deliveries from new vehicles such as the Jeep Renegade, Ram ProMaster City and Fiat 500X help extend the automaker's 57-month sales streak....
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JAMES B. TREECE

Building a new fortress to protect data

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
When it comes to protecting sensitive data against hackers, the days of building thick digital walls and moat are over....
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Q&A

How some customers cheat themselves

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
When Hennessy Buick-GMC in Georgia signed up this year for an Equifax system that automatically verifies employment and income, Finance Director Blake Bailey thought the system would mostly identify people who had overstated their income....
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Dealers prying payments from some lenders

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
Dealers are still seeing big differences in how quickly lenders pay them on contracts in transit, despite awareness and technology campaigns aimed at speeding payments to dealers when retail customers finance vehicle purchases and leases....
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GM takes charge of its branded F&I products

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
General Motors is bringing the sales of its branded F&I products in-house, taking over responsibility from captive finance company GM Financial, in a move designed to give those sales a shot in the arm and get those products on more GM dealerships' radar....
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Old repair bill is a powerful tool for F&I team

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
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....
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Dealers, captives battle in statehouses

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
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....
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Why the 72-month auto loan isn't causing jitters -- yet

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
Lenders are boosting auto sales and commanding higher transaction prices by extending loan terms. Is the industry flirting with another 2008, or is the risk limited?...
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Pay disparities are hurting morale, dealership retention, expert warns

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
Rising disparities in pay between the F&I and sales departments are leading to morale problems and high turnover at dealerships, a noted F&I authority said at a conference in Las Vegas. Dealerships are testing a number of alternative pay plans, but nothing proposed so far appears to solve the problem....
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Faster is better in F&I, Power survey shows

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
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....
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What's an F&I pro worth?

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
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....
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ONWARD ONLINE

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

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
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....
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2015 AUTOMOTIVE NEWS WORLD CONGRESS

FCA's Bigland says loan terms will grow, making price increases more affordable

6:10 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 14, 2015
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' head of US and Canadian sales says loose credit terms will continue to drive new vehicle sales, even as pent-up demand dwindles in a recovered economy....
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JIM HENRY

Lending practices face new scrutiny: States

11:30 am U.S. ET | Jan. 14, 2015
State officials aren't far behind the federal government in the present crackdown on auto lenders, especially in the subprime segment....
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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....
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Ally sale leaves U.S. taxpayers with $9.3 billion loss on auto rescues

9:24 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 29, 2014
American taxpayers lost $9.3 billion on the government's bailout of auto companies following the Treasury Department's sale of its remaining stake in Ally Financial. The Treasury took in $70.4 billion from the rescue of GM, Chrysler, Ally and others after spending nearly $80 billion in taxpayer funds, data released Monday show....
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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....
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