Dealerships that identify as having established digital retailing processes reported higher finance and insurance profits in April than those that didn't, according to a study by the National Automobile Dealers Association and digital retailing provider Roadster. Respondents also reported selling more vehicles with fewer employees, an indication that digitizing more of the car-buying experience is alleviating some of the burden on salespeople.
The study, conducted May 6 to 8, asked 236 franchised and independent dealerships to compare April sales results with those in February, before coronavirus-related closures.
F&I profits rose 58 percent on new vehicles in April for respondents with digital retailing processes. Dealerships that didn't offer digital retailing saw a smaller increase in F&I, up about 35 percent.
Dealerships also reported selling an average of 18 vehicles per salesperson in April, compared with a 13 vehicle-per-person average before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the study.
Stores that reduced staffing levels 50 to 75 percent sold on average six more cars per person, Roadster said. Stores that reduced staff 75 percent or more said they sold an average of 20 more cars per person.