John Eagle Auto Group's most crucial staff meetings are the monthly finance and insurance video conferences for its 12 Texas dealerships.
The meetings are so important to F&I profits that "John Eagle, if he's in the country, he's at the meeting," said Duffy Cummings, CFO of the Dallas group. "It's the most important video meeting we have each month."
That's because at the 90-minute meetings, the group's corporate leaders, general managers, sales managers and F&I staff review each store's performance, problems and best practices to devise ways to keep F&I profits growing.
"We get to share ideas," Cummings said. "If one dealership is having a problem, we can ask another dealership that had that same problem how they solved it. Almost every problem that has come up, we've solved in the past. So it's a great collaboration."
The meetings, led by a trainer, have helped boost the group's F&I revenue per vehicle to $1,700 from $1,200 a decade ago, Cummings said.
They've also helped usher in new F&I products. One such product a few years ago was PegasusPay, which converts a vehicle loan payment from monthly to biweekly to get the customer into an equity position faster.
"We don't make anything off it," but it helps shorten loan terms and keep customers in the buying cycle, Cummings said. "One of the biggest problems we have is our average term keeps stretching longer and longer," he said. "Our average loan term now is 62 months."