CHESTERFIELD, MO (January 29, 2019) – Protective Asset Protection, a provider of F&I programs, services, and dealer-owned warranty company programs, announced today results of a recent survey it commissioned to gauge how dealers leveraged F&I programs and opportunities in 2018.
Protective commissioned the survey toward the end of December, 2018, and nearly 160 dealers took the online survey. The majority of dealers said their overall gross margins in 2018 were flat from the prior year, yet sales for F&I products were up more than 10%. In fact, 35% of dealers said their 2018 gross margins were unchanged compared to 2017 figures.
Roughly 32% of dealers said their F&I product sales were up more than 10% in 2018; another 30% said their F&I product sales were up between 5% - 10% compared with 2017.
In terms of which F&I products sold the most in 2018, 41.6% of dealers said they sold Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC), followed by 38.9% of dealers saying maintenance programs. VSC and maintenance programs are becoming more popular, especially as more consumers turn their attention toward used vehicles when shopping. Used auto sales were estimated to reach 39 million in 2018, compared with just 17.3 million new vehicle sales. In 2019, sales of new vehicles are expected to dip down to 16.8 million.
With cars now representing just 30% of overall vehicle sales, many consumers are relying on VSCs and maintenance programs for upkeep on their higher-priced trucks and SUVs. The survey revealed that another 33.6% of dealers said they sold GAP coverage in 2018, and 16.8% of dealers said they sold both key replacement protection as well as tire and wheel coverage products.
“We believe the demand for many F&I products will continue to grow in the coming years, especially as more consumers turn to pre-owned vehicles to combat affordability sticker prices on new vehicles,” said Rick Kurtz, Senior Vice President for Protective Asset Protection. “What’s more, the continued trend of off-lease volume will place additional focus on used vehicles, where VSCs and maintenance programs will significantly help ensure consumers keep their vehicles on the road and running. Also, we see dealer-owned warranty company programs, in particular, helping dealers offer branded F&I products designed to meet the needs of their customers.”
ABOUT PROTECTIVE ASSET PROTECTION
Protective Asset Protection provides vehicle protection plans, GAP, and credit insurance through vehicle dealerships. Protective Asset Protection has been serving dealers for more than 55 years and currently provides products and services to automobile, marine, RV and powersports dealers. Protective Asset Protection is part of the financial services holding company, Protective Life Corporation. For more information about Protective Asset Protection call 800-323-5771, or visit www.ProtectiveAssetProtection.com.