Is anyone having a tough time in F&I right now? I have seen a lot of stores where the back-end has dropped because of the lending crisis. However, some stores are still "rocking" it! What gives? Any good ideas? Any special products/companies that are working for people?

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One arena where F&I personel are making a killing right now is with bi-weekly payments. This is a program where the dealership is able to sign the customer up with a 3rd party that does ACH withdrawals and payments for the customer every two weeks. Generally, the customer has no upfront cost/fees. In most situations there is a $399 fee taken out of the payments down the road...generally over a term of time. The idea is this money comes out of the interest the customer is saving. This program is a win/win/win.
The customer actually saves money by paying less interest on the loan!
The dealership makes $$$!
The F&I manager makes $$$!
There does not need to be any pre-approval with lenders, in fact the lenders will not know the difference. The payment does not increase. Like I say, these are very effective programs right now for dealers with tight lending guidelines. I have found it works very effective in Special Finance stores also.
Kevin, I agree with you on this product, My company offers this product and the dealer response is fantastic. The dealers love the added income this product brings to F&I, even with them being limited on what the lenders allow them to advance on deals. As you said the dealers make money and the customers save money.
I am a finance manager here in mid Missouri.... What company is this that you can sign people up with bi-weekly payments????? My name is Jerry Calkins and my cell is 573-201-6922 and my e-mail is jerrydcalkins@yahoo.com
Hi Jerry,

Give me a call if your still interested in the bi weekly..i know someone who i can put you in touch with..do you have a tire and wheel..i know a company that is is really good and they pay their claims. call me at 707 227-2400 or my email is ddewe2@aol.com...
Our numbers have actually increased over the past couple months. Our volume is down, so he has more time to spend with each guest. Also, we are on the North Shore of Chicago, so our finance penetration is up due to the fact a lot of these local residents got crushed in the market recently. It also seems like people are more open to protecting themselves. VSC and Tire/Wheel are rocking..
That is a good point...finance penetration has gone up, thus backend numbers should in each store also. Unfortunately this is not what I am seeing in the West. I think to many dealers are happy to just sell a car nowdays and are forgetting about the back-end.
How are you presenting Tire/Wheel? Are you putting it in your menu? Is it considered a front-end product by the lenders you are using? Do you do any roadside assistance?
We step sell for the most part in this store. As we usually do mostly "real" cash deals, menu isn't that great for us. Everything is ala carte, and I will be honest, we do not offer CL/AH. Tire is considered a front end product, so that definately cuts into the advance. As far as RSA, Saturn has 5/100k from the factory, and if we do an upgrade (Master Tech) it is extended through that. We usually run in the 70-75% range with VSC and Tire, they usually go hand in hand. I have his pay plan structured to be more beneficial for him (F&I Mgr.) that way. Etch is coming in a close second, but I am looking for additional products to sell. As of now, I have agreements for Tire, Etch, Ding, Key, VSC, Maint, GAP and CL/AH (although we don't offer). I need another inexpensive product (along cost of etch) to keep the spread up.

I agree with the people "just happy" to sell a car. The reality is, the store I run now was about to be closed for good back in 8/07. They just could never make it work. My nut is pretty healthy, majority of it coming from personnel expense. In my case, the "right" people have made the difference, and they get paid for it. Finance was one of the "most improved" departments when we bought the store. They would run (this is really funny shit!) $150 per car after comp! I worked finance on my own the first 6 months to try and keep the payroll down after we bought the store. Even running the store, penciling deals, running (while training) my green UCM) the used car dept. I was still running $900 - $1200 per copy. Chicago (and Saturn for that matter) has always been a "finance" happy place. Quite different from what I have heard across the US.]

Luckily, I have a very.. "aggressive" finance guy that does very well for us. The finance department has been one of the keys to us staying afloat these past 4 months as sales volume has fallen off 40%.
Sounds like you've done a masterful job. One of the the other products you could offer that is going well with a lot of my dealers is Identity Theft Protection. This is proving to be a huge seller with good profit. As you probably know Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America, it gets a lot of media exposure, which enables the sale to be made easier. If you need more info on it just let me know...
My rep actually brought that up. How has it been selling? I didn't really listen to closely I guess to his pitch.. We tend to do better here with the Tire/Wheel also because our roads are really bad! Pot holes are my best friend and enemy! Had to replace the wheel and tire on two demo's since I've been here! $380 for the run flat on the Lexus and $1,200 for a 22" Caddilac wheel and tire.. brutal!
Wow sounds like Tire and Wheel is the bomb in your area! I can't say I have a lot of dealers in the West doing much with it...
Identity theft is an easy sell, it also fills the menu with more options. It is one of the smaller ticket items you can offer, but does seem to be easy as it is on everyone's mind.
Our best selling product is Tire&wheel also, I'm interested in finding out more about Identity protection.
Kevin, what is the contact information for the company that provides the Identity Theft Protecton.

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