Even as expenses escalate, margins narrow and sales volume declines, dealers continue to find strength in their finance and insurance departments. F&I revenue per vehicle and overall F&I revenue rose for most of the 150 largest dealership groups in the U.S. in 2018, according to an Automotive News survey.
Average F&I revenue per new and used vehicle retailed increased 4.6 percent, to $1,482, according to the survey. Automotive News' sixth annual F&I survey examined the F&I results of the nation's top 150 dealership groups, as ranked by new-vehicle retail sales in 2018. Of those, the survey looked at 144 groups that provided finance data for 2017 and 2018.
Total F&I revenue for the dealership groups increased 7.5 percent compared with the year earlier. In 2017, F&I revenue rose 6 percent.
In 2018, dealers on average lost money on operations for the first time in at least a decade, the National Automobile Dealers Association said in an April report. Dealers are still reporting pretax net profits, but those are largely driven by automaker incentives, which are excluded from operating results.