Field representatives for GM Financial, GM's captive finance company, will be responsible for introducing Chevrolet, Buick-GMC and Cadillac dealers to the program as part of their contacts with dealers and their F&I teams, a GM spokeswoman said. The customer care and aftersales unit is responsible for marketing and managing the program, she said.
Other manufacturers and their captive finance companies also offer branded F&I products. Customers see branded F&I products as more trustworthy and more valuable, the companies say. Branded products can work for other types of companies, too; Allstate Dealer Services says it increased sales after phasing out its in-house brand, CarMor, in favor of the better-known Allstate brand in 2011.
The GM-branded F&I products will compete with products from a GM partner, Ally Financial Inc., the former GMAC. That includes Ally's GM Protection Plan extended-service contracts.
Ally licenses the GM Protection Plan name from GM, and it has the rights to continue to use the name through November 2016, Ally spokesman Tony Sapienza says.
The Ally Auto Dealer Products & Services unit offers -- in addition to extended-service contracts -- prepaid maintenance, GAP, lease wear-and-tear coverage, tire-and-wheel, anti-theft protection, appearance protection and dent repair, Sapienza says.
For its new branded F&I products, GM is using a unit of AmTrust Financial Services Inc. as administrator and for insurance backing the products, Hill says.
He says the new GM products will be available for used cars as well as new ones, and that GM dealers will be able to sell them for non-GM vehicles, too, using the same internal system for paperwork and for reporting claims.
For non-GM used vehicles and for models from Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer, GM offers a protection plan under the MyAuto brand.
Jim Kornas, director of extended protection plans, says GM is considering adding more F&I products. A reinsurance program will not be offered at launch, he says. Reinsurance programs enable a dealer to contribute to reserves against future claims on aftermarket products such as extended-service contracts and then share in the underwriting profits -- that is, any money left over after claims and fees are paid, plus any additional investment income.
"When you look at F&I products," Kornas says, "these ones we're offering are the vast majority of what's sold by our dealers."