Having served my time at the F&I desk, I certainly appreciate the importance of that department’s contribution to dealership revenue.
Years ago, during a 20 Group meeting I was moderating, a progressive Chevrolet dealer made a presentation on the success of his F&I department.
After outlining his processes and discussing his per-vehicle F&I income, he asked me to pass out another page he had prepared.
To demonstrate the importance of a strong department, he had shown the profits of his new and used vehicle departments with and without F&I income. He started something: Today, most 20 Group composites present this information in one form or another to reinforce the contribution F&I represents.
But if you think about it, what area of our business represents our largest vulnerability? Would you agree potentially it is our F&I revenue?
In Washington, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are among the biggest threats. She and the agency are pushing an agenda that would reduce dealership F&I revenues.
My intent is not to be political, but it’s important for dealers to take all the action within their power to protect this valuable income source.
Tony Noland of Tony Noland & Associates is a veteran dealership consultant. He can be reached at tonynolandandassociates.com.