Dave Robertson, head of the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals, is confident dealerships will rise to the challenge. “Over time, the situations that impact car sales and F&I change dramatically,” he points out. “Dealers and F&I departments and product providers have been able to survive because they can respond quickly to what the situation requires.”
Many F&I products already complement the used-vehicle market. The trick for dealerships will be developing F&I presentations that lure those customers. For used vehicles, more information on factors such as what parts of the vehicle may still be under warranty may be necessary, says Rick Kurtz at F&I product provider Protective Asset Protection. Customizing presentations to buyers’ individual needs will be key, he says, adding that F&I managers would be “missing an opportunity by taking a one-size-fits-all approach.”
For sure, F&I managers will have their work cut out for them. Rising used-vehicle sales could dent the outlook for extended service contract sales, J.D. Power’s Mike Buckingham says. And Greg Oltman of Dent Zone warns that F&I managers could be limited in the products they can offer to some used-car buyers.
Still, used-car F&I prospects look good, says Jim Maxim, president of MaximTrak Technologies. “As dealers bring in more used business, how does the F&I process really change?” says Maxim. “It naturally breeds more opportunity.”