At some dealerships, an invisible wall stands between the sales department and the finance and insurance office.
The two are not only separate, but often bicker, for example, over whether a deal enhanced F&I profit at the expense of sales profit.
But at Sam Pack's Five Star Ford of Lewisville, in Texas, the sales team takes home 5 percent of F&I income for discussing F&I products with customers before bringing those customers to the F&I office. The team effort between sales and F&I has led to a $200 boost in F&I profit per unit for new and used vehicles since the dealership launched the compensation plan.
Salespeople "are more positive about finance. They have some skin in the game," said Tom Andrews, finance director. "They are more involved with the customer and with the process."
At many dealerships, Andrews said, the sales team doesn't know exactly what the F&I managers do or what products they sell. But at his, the salespeople learn about the value of F&I products at each Saturday sales meeting.