Q: Does your captive finance company lean on you to sell its F&I products, such as service contracts?
Bill Underriner, 2012 NADA chairman and president of Underriner Motors (Honda, Hyundai, Volvo, Buick) in Billings, Mont.: "We feel some, but as long as we sell some of the OEM products, I don't think we feel the heat as much as a dealer who doesn't sell any."
Underriner said his dealerships sell F&I products offered by captive finance companies, and reinsured products, in which the dealership shares in the underwriting profits. "We do both at our store. We do what's best for the customer."
David Westcott, 2012 NADA vice chairman and president of Westcott Automotive (Buick, GMC, Suzuki) in Burlington, N.C.: "I don't feel that pressure, no. Do they mention GMPP [GM Protection Plan extended service contracts] every once in a while? Yes. But I don't feel any pressure."
Westcott said his dealership mostly sells reinsured F&I products. "For a long time -- for I don't know how many years -- we have done reinsurance with service contracts. We don't take advantage of any manufacturer [program]. But I can't remember the last time they even asked about it."
Gary Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Garage & Marine Inc. (Subaru) in Lyme, Conn.: "That hasn't been my experience. As chairman of regulatory affairs for NADA, I haven't been aware of any complaints on that issue. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. However, I do try to keep my ear to the ground for things like that."
Vince Sheehy, president of Sheehy Auto Stores in Fairfax, Va., a group with 18 franchises in 15 locations in Virginia and Maryland: "Clearly it is their strong desire. Having branded products does reinforce the presence of the brand. I also believe it's a profit center for them. In varying degrees there is an interest in having us sell their products. Obviously, the more we sell of theirs, the happier they will be. Some manufacturers hit that message harder than others."
Carroll Smith, president of Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena, Texas: "I'm with Ally [Financial]. They're getting better about their reps asking about it, but I wouldn't say pressure, no."
Smith said Monument Chevrolet sells GMPP extended service contracts but uses another vendor for guaranteed asset protection policies.