EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been corrected. Group 1's per-unit gross profit was a fourth-quarter record only.
Group 1 Automotive Inc. hit a record $1,636 in F&I gross profit per unit in the fourth quarter, likely becoming the new leader in the F&I race among the six largest publicly traded new-vehicle retail groups.
Group 1’s F&I results mark the first time any of the six groups has broken $1,600 per unit in the fourth quarter.
Lithia Motors and Sonic Automotive Inc. report their results later this month, but unless their F&I gross profit per vehicle surged in the fourth quarter, Group 1 will be the winner of the quarterly F&I race.
Group 1’s F&I gross profit per unit increased 6.6 percent from the year earlier. AutoNation Inc., the previous F&I leader, held its F&I gross per unit fairly steady from the year earlier, rising 0.3 percent to $1,569.
Asbury Automotive Group marked significant growth, rising 4 percent to $1,512 per unit, while Penske Automotive Group’s F&I gross per unit fell 0.7 percent to $1,107.
By the end of the month, all of the publics will have their results in, but for now, Group 1 is the retailer to watch.