The Great Recession led people in the U.S. to hold on to their cars and trucks longer.
If the early economic impacts of the coronavirus are any indication, with tens of millions of Americans out of work, that phenomenon could soon take hold again — if it hasn't already.
Nestor Alvarez, service director at Infiniti of Coral Gables, in Florida, said as overall business dropped in his service lane, the rate of customers getting quotes for service contracts has seemed to rise since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Lately I've quoted more because people, I think, are deciding to keep their cars" instead of trading them in, he said.
If that's the case, Alvarez is in a good position to capitalize. For years, he's embraced selling finance and insurance products, including extended service contracts, out of the service lane. The main reason is to retain customers, he said. But it also drives additional gross profit to the dealership.
Why more stores don't do it could be because it's not seen as the service lane's place to sell F&I products.