What I am about to say won't be popular, but don't kill the messenger: Finance and insurance officers are not needed for all types of transactions.
That's the sentiment of some leaders at big public auto retail groups.
During the Detroit auto show, I sat with Roger Penske, CEO of Penske Automotive Group Inc., to talk about his 2018 buy-sell strategy. It emphasizes adding more used-only dealerships here and abroad.
At the end of 2016, Penske Automotive bought CarSense, which has five U.S. used-only dealerships. (Penske later added ones in the U.K.) The U.S. used-only stores return an average of $300 to $400 more in gross profit per vehicle than the group's franchised counterparts do, Penske said.
He offered a few reasons for this. First, the used-car stores do not face the pressure to heavily discount vehicles to hit factory sales targets, as new-car departments do. Also, CarSense's used-only stores are one-price operations, so negotiations are limited to the value of a trade-in.