Pat Ryan, often called the father of the F&I office, will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame this summer, alongside the late Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Indy 500 pioneer and the co-founder of a major auto parts supplier once owned by General Motors.
Ryan in 1962 pioneered the finance and insurance department at Dick Fencl Chevrolet in suburban Chicago. He told Automotive News in 2005 that he "offered customers dealership financing, whether they were going to go to a credit union or pay cash or go with the bank. I asked if I could also sell them credit insurance."
Before a separate F&I office became the industry standard, salespeople handled F&I.
Ryan "forever changed dealership operations," Dave Robertson, executive director for the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals, wrote in a letter to the editor in May. "While the processes and products were evolutionary, the dollars derived from them were exponential."
The Automotive Hall of Fame, in Dearborn, Mich., has recognized about 800 men and women across the industry.
"Since 1939, the Automotive Hall of Fame has honored individuals who have significantly impacted the automotive industry and the world of mobility. We believe that these four individuals are incredibly worthy of this honor thanks to their outstanding achievements and innovations," said Ramzi Hermiz, chairman of Automotive Hall of Fame and CEO of Shiloh Industries.
The inductees alongside Ryan and Marchionne are Richard E. Dauch, co-founder of American Axle & Manufacturing, a former parts unit of GM, and Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500, in 1977.
The inductions will take place July 18 at the MGM Grand Detroit.