Five of the six public new-vehicle dealership groups improved average finance and insurance gross profit per vehicle in the second quarter, driven primarily by F&I training efforts, growing F&I product penetration and increased retail sales, the companies said.
Group 1 Automotive Inc., of Houston, lagged as the only major public dealership group to report declines in F&I profit. Average F&I gross profit per vehicle decreased $31 on a same-store basis to $1,649, still putting Group 1 at No. 2 among the public retailers. AutoNation Inc. ranked No. 1.
New accounting rules surrounding revenue recognition affected F&I numbers this quarter, according to Pete DeLongchamps, senior vice president of manufacturer relations, financial services and public affairs at Group 1. But even though F&I profit per vehicle was down, same-store F&I gross profit rose 1.5 percent to $95.3 million.
In the first quarter, Group 1 launched Val-U-Line, a proprietary brand for older, higher-mileage used vehicles. "With the addition of Val-U-Line, it's a mix among math issue. Our F&I business actually was very good, and it's exactly what we had expected," he told Automotive News.
The other five dealership groups boosted same-store F&I profit per vehicle:
AutoNation Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., rose $114.
Asbury Automotive Group Inc., of Duluth, Ga., rose $33.
Sonic Automotive Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., rose $115.
Lithia Motors Inc., of Medford, Ore., rose $7.
Penske Automotive Group Inc., of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., rose $90.