Automotive News 40 Under 40

Bryan Snyder

AGE: 39

POSITION: Director of finance, Bommarito Automotive Group, Ellisville, Mo.

Bryan Snyder

Bryan Snyder has a mantra for the 22 finance managers he oversees at Bommarito Automotive Group: Think for the long term, even if it hurts a deal.

For instance, he decided in 2008 that the 12-store dealership group in suburban St. Louis should shorten its menu of finance and insurance products. The stores stopped selling credit life insurance, which pays off a loan in the event of the buyer's death, as well as credit accident and health insurance, or A&H, which pays off a loan in the event of disability.

"It's very easy to get caught up with a long list of products you can sell," Snyder said. "We've tried to limit it to a core group of products that people will use in their real life."

Now the company's F&I offices focus on policies such as prepaid maintenance, key replacement and dent repair, which customers are more likely to use -- and which lead to return visits to the dealership.

The strategy seems to have worked. F&I revenue per car has risen 40 percent since 2008 despite the shorter menu.

Snyder, who joined the company in 2000 and became director of finance in 2004, says he stresses long-term thinking during monthly compliance meetings with finance managers. Bommarito Automotive Group ranks No. 58 on Automotive News' list of the top 125 dealership groups in the United States with 2012 retail sales of 12,003 new vehicles.

With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau putting pressure on the finance reserve that banks pay dealers for arranging car loans, Snyder has told F&I managers to rely less on that source of income.

He has urged them to remain loyal to their lenders so the lenders will be willing to help with a challenging deal next time.

"It's the relationships that we have that have gotten us where we are," Snyder said. "Those guys are more likely to help you if they're getting the lion's share of your deals than if they're being sold down the road for 10 or 15 basis points."

-- Gabe Nelson