At Feldman Automotive Group, a lucrative finance and insurance operation comes down to splitting the task and sharing the wealth. F&I is a team effort at the group, with the sales team receiving commission on product sales.
The process has led to a more collaborative work environment and salespeople taking a greater interest in the back end of the business, according to Dave Katarski, COO of Feldman Automotive, in New Hudson, Mich.
"It helps when they're much more supportive," he said. "We certainly have all of our sales associates that are very familiar with the F&I products, very supportive of the F&I process and very supportive of making finance and insurance income because it's just as good to them as front-end gross profit."
Feldman started the shared commission structure at least three years ago, Katarski said. Today, it's part of the strategy at Feldman's 11 franchised dealerships and six used-vehicle stores in Michigan and Ohio. Feldman Automotive ranks No. 74 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 13,712 new vehicles in 2018.
The company saw immediate growth in its F&I business as a result of the joint commission.
"We knew in order to keep our sales associates incentivized and compensated, we needed to adjust," Katarski said. "We certainly saw immediate improvement. You now had 100 percent of our sales staff supportive of all the value-added F&I products we offer to all of our customers."