2019 ALL STAR | FINANCE & INSURANCE
Phillip Battista, CEO of Darwin Automotive, a vendor of predictive F&I menu-selling tools, launched his company in 2017. His goal is to get the car-buying process as close to an Amazon experience as possible for customers who want that option.
Battista, 54, has guided the company in launching products such as Darwin Online, which enables customers to finance vehicles and add F&I products to their shopping carts, and Darwin Direct, which allows customers the ability to purchase, contract, e-sign and pay for F&I products anytime, anywhere.
Concerns about whether dealerships would shun technologies that take F&I outside of the dealership have been dispelled by rapid industry adoption. About 5,000 automotive retailers across the country use Darwin, a 25 percent increase from 2018. On average, the company adds 250 customers a month.
Darwin also partners with captive lenders, F&I product companies, public retailers and dealership management software companies. Among the most recent are alliances with Ford Protect, a division of Ford Credit; Volvo Car Financial Services; Audi of America; and Group 1.