Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, which also appeared on Page 19 of the Dec. 8 issue, misspelled the last name of Terry O’Loughlin, director of compliance for the documents unit of dealer software company, Reynolds and Reynolds.
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.
Bregou, who oversees 10 of the stores, said about 50 of the 900 monthly new and used vehicle his stores sell are coming via the finance and insurance buttons prominently displayed on the Driver's Village site. The company started promoting the features only about a year ago.
"These tools didn't even exist two years ago," Bregou said.
Over the decades, the F&I office has arranged financing and sold products almost exclusively as an in-store activity. Unlike vehicle pricing information, it has been very slow to move online.
Dealers and experts cite several reasons. They include complicated transaction regulations, limited technological options for online F&I and traditional dealership processes that insist F&I happen after vehicle selection.