For years General Manager Brian Beattie had been bothered by the pay plan structure for finance and insurance officers at Patriot Subaru.
"The sales managers do the deal and arrange the financing," Beattie said. "So I thought, 'Why am I paying F&I officers on the finance reserve?' We've been paying them that way for 12 years, but they weren't getting any better at selling product. They were just relying on whatever the reserve was."
So in January, Beattie turned the F&I office upside down. He stopped paying F&I officers any portion of the finance reserve. Gone was the team concept of sharing in the profits. In its place was a competitive plan that rewarded F&I managers only on the products each sold.
"I was trying to work on what's going to motivate these people to bring it to a different level to make sure the whole department grows as well as the whole organization," Beattie said. "I loved the team aspect of the old system, but if somebody's carrying the load and somebody's not, but they're all getting paid the same, that's not fair."
The change led to an increase in F&I profit of up to $200 per vehicle. Customer satisfaction scores are rising and F&I managers' performance is up, as is their take-home pay, Beattie said.