Stuck on Sticker Prices In response to Nat Shulman's September column headlined "Sticker prices unfair to dealers," I feel his position is counter-productive to the retail movement of the next millennium.
He contends, "The price label on new vehicles has not performed up to the standards set by the Congress in 1958 for consumers as well as dealers." That illustrates the need for enforcement, and not, as Mr. Shulman contends, the need for amendment.
Fundamental economics will invariably determine which dealer and vehicle the consumer chooses. Ironically, Mark Rikess' column on the prior page hits the bull's eye in saying, "Brand protection is the big reason manufacturers are becoming more involved in how the vehicle is retailed. Customer treatment by the retailer is essential for manufacturers to pay off their brand promise - one reason the Lexus brand is so strong in the crowded luxury market."
Mr. Shulman furthers his assertion that Europe has the answer. The simplicity of categorizing vehicle pricing into four subgroups is an outdated pricing approach. Renting a car for a weekend is inherently different than purchasing a vehicle over the Internet.
With the phenomenal growth of the Internet and the capacity that it allows dealers to compete outside their traditional geographic markets, most consumers will never see the window sticker in the years to come.
Brad C. Meley Auto analyst
Where the Heck are All the F&I Schools? After exhaustively searching the Internet, I can find no information concerning schools for training F&I managers. It seems this position at a dealership is learned as you go. I am currently a new-car salesman with goals of ultimately moving into management.
I am absolutely astonished that there exist no schools, correspondence or otherwise, which specialize in training F&I management people. General business courses do not address the specialized information needed for this position.
Are you aware of any such schools? If you do, could you please let me know??
Autrey J. Locklear
Editor's Note: There are several F&I training programs. Some of the firms that sponsor them are Universal Underwriters, JM&A, the Resource Group's Aon and API. DaimlerChrysler Credit, Ford Credit and GMAC have their own.
He Might Enhance Program By Selling Extended Warranties I found Dave Skrobot's July article ("Should Service Managers Sell Extended Service Contracts?") very interesting.
We perform follow-up services for both the sales and service departments in over 200 dealerships in 21 states. Currently we provide our dealer clients with both warranty and customer pay thank you letters, in addition to making follow-up phone calls to determine if the service department's customers are completely satisfied.
I believe we could enhance our program by selling extended warranties.
I want you to know that I enjoy reading your publication very much.
Bill Drew Marketing Director, CompuForce Tulsa, OK