When Michael Barrett joined Vaden Automotive Group as finance director in January 2012, he was tasked with boosting finance and insurance revenues.
The group's F&I operation was doing well at the time, averaging about $1,200 per vehicle retailed. But CEO Weston Beaver was convinced that Vaden's eight stores throughout southeastern Georgia and South Carolina could do even better.
So he hired Barrett, and together they made some changes. The biggest impact on F&I revenues has come from two strategies: promoting biweekly payment plans and devising a system that better integrates the F&I and service departments.
So far this year, the group is tracking $1,519 in F&I revenue per vehicle retailed and has a service contract penetration rate of 68 percent. It hopes to a reach 70 percent service contract penetration by the end of October. The group averages 900 new vehicle deliveries a month.