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May 2018, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Transparency Wave Rolling Into F&I

More than 500 exhibitors lined the aisles inside the Las Vegas Convention Center for the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention and exposition, which was held March 22-25. (Photo Courtesy of NADA)

By Gregory Arroyo

Digital retailing invaded the Las Vegas Convention Center in late March for NADA 2018, but its arrival did little to bring clarity to F&I’s cloudy future.

Tags: Carvoy, Cox Automotive, DealerSocket, Dealertrack, Dent Wizard, digital retailing, ELEAD1ONE, online F&I, Protective Asset Protection Division, Reynolds & Reynolds, Roadster

May 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Cause for Concern: CEOs Take the AFSA Stage

Fielding question posed by Charlie Vogelheim (left) during the 2018 Vehicle Finance Conference’s CEO panel were (from left) Ravi Raghu, president of Capital One Auto Finance; Rich Morrin, president of Chrysler Capital and auto relationships for Santander Consumer USA Inc.; Rich Hyde, COO of Prestige Financial Services; and Dan Berce, president and CEO GM Financial. (Photo courtesy of AFSA)

By Jim Henry

Executives representing leading auto finance sources gathered at the American Financial Services Association’s 2018 conference to discuss the present and future consequences of inflated lease returns, declining used-car values, and rising interest rates.

Tags: American Financial & Automotive Services, auto finance, Capital One Auto Finance, Chrysler Capital, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, GM Financial, J.D. Power, Lease, Prestige Financial

May 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Death by Uber: Regulators React

At the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention this past March, Waymo CEO John Krafcik told attendees he was confident Waymo’s technology would have avoided the fatal accident in Tempe, Ariz. (Photo courtesy of NADA)

By Christian Scali and John Swenson

Attorneys analyze the Arizona fatality involving an autonomous vehicle being tested by Uber and how the tragedy impacts the push for AV going forward.

Tags: Autonomous Driving, connected car, driverless car technology, Uber, Waymo

May 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

The ‘Please Do Not Call’ Rule

By Gil Van Over

The federal Do Not Call Registry is not without its flaws, but dealers are nonetheless bound by its rule. Compliance expert offers a primer for sales and BDC managers.

Tags: compliance, Do Not Call, Federal Trade Commission, Robocalls

April 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

The ’90s Called: They Want Their Presentations Back

Photo via Getty Images. 

By Lloyd Trushel

Are you still rolling out the old NASCAR close? F&I insider says F&I offices need to get with the times and ditch those ‘Buy it now or bad things will happen’ pitches.

Tags: Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty, Customer Service, F&I Menu Presentation, F&I Presentation, F&I technology, F&I training

April 2018, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

F&I in the Era of Digital Darwinism

Phillip Battista is the CEO of Darwin Automotive, an online F&I selling tool. 

By Gregory Arroyo

Darwin Automotive’s Phillip Battista has some strong opinions about digital retailing and online F&I, and he worries some providers — and their dealers — may soon find themselves in legal peril.

Tags: Darwin Automotive, Ecommerce, Mobile Applications, Online Marketplace

March 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

7 Reasons to Embrace Mobile F&I

By Alan Campbell

Car buyers no longer rely on the dealership as their sole source of information about F&I products. Trainer offers seven reasons forward-thinking dealers are meeting customers in the mobile marketplace.

Tags: digital retailing, F&I manager, F&I menu, F&I training, online F&I, showroom, tablet menu, technology

March 2018, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

The Laboratory: Wade Ford Tests Connected Cars

Customers of Wade Ford are introduced to and offered the opportunity to purchase SAVY, a dealership-branded mobile app with a long list of driver- and dealer-facing features. 

By Tariq Kamal

Steve Ewing loves the car business, and he is willing to try any new program, tool or process that will help Atlanta’s Wade Ford keep pace with the changing demands of car buyers.

Tags: APCO, connected car, EasyCare, F&I product, SAVY, showroom

March 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Don’t Let the Deal Ruin the Sale

©gettyimages.com/AndreyPopov

By Keith Whann

Compliance expert lists four steps dealers and F&I professionals can take to fill the gaps in your documentation process and prepare your dealership for regulatory inquests.

Tags: Audit, auto finance, compliance, dealer compliance

March 2018, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

A War on Many Fronts

(Photo courtesy of the NADA)

By Tariq Kamal

NADA chairman and Michigan dealer Wes Lutz takes the association’s helm during a time of transition and conflict at the factory, retail and legislative levels.

Tags: auto finance, compliance, Donald Trump, Fully Autonomous, mobility, NADA Chairman, National Automobile Dealers Association, Wes Lutz

March 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Finding the Right Match

By Dave Druzynski

Hiring expert says talent scouts can learn a lot from online dating profiles. He explains how to punch up your job ads to tell the dealership’s story and create genuine excitement among job-seekers.

Tags: Auto/Mate Dealership Systems, Dave Druzynski, Hiring, hiring manager, human resources, job advertisement

February 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

The Right Approach to Adverse Action Notices

By Gil Van Over

Compliance expert gets into the weeds on adverse actions. He explains why you must send a notice to every affected customer, and breaks down your choice of processes.

Tags: Adverse Action Notice, auto finance, compliance, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act

February 2018, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

The Rise of Subscription Services

By Michaela Kwoka-Coleman

Automakers are dipping their toes in the subscription waters, but dealers and some industry watchers are skeptical about the business model’s lucrativeness and its ability to attract customers.

Tags: auto finance, Book by Cadillac, Boston Volvo Village, Care by Volvo, Fair, Flexdrive, George Bauer, Ioniq Unlimited, Porsche Passport, Subscription Service, Village Automotive Group

February 2018, F&I and Showroom - WebXclusive

Q&A: Why You Mishandle Your Best Leads

By Tariq Kamal

Digital Air Strike’s Alexi Venneri discusses the results of the company’s latest mystery-shopping study and how dealers can improve the timing and quality of their responses.

January 2018, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Dealers and the On-Demand Economy

Gettyimages.com/NicolasMcComber

By Mark Thomas

What will your store do when softening demand turns into a showroom crisis? Mobility expert says the on-demand revolution offers plenty of opportunity for resourceful dealers.

Tags: Mobile Applications, rental fleet, Test Drive, Uber

December 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Tap to Lease

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

Honcker’s Nathan Hecht took his dislike of the typical leasing process and turned it into a mobile app that’s delivering ready-to-go deals to dealers in eight states and an experience studies show customers want — even when it comes to F&I.

Tags: digital retailing, Honcker, Mobile Applications, online F&I

December 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Perfect Storm

By Tariq Kamal

Industry Summit’s executive panel convened to discuss and debate the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the status of the used-car and subprime markets, the GM mandate, and the digitization of the F&I process.

Tags: auto finance, digital retailing, Disclosures, GAP, General Motors, guaranteed asset protection, Hurricane Harvey, new-vehicle sales, online F&I, SAAR, Subprime Financing

December 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

REAL ID Has Arrived

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/James Rainier) 

By Gil Van Over

January marks the first implementation deadline for the federal REAL ID Act. Compliance expert outlines the law, its requirements, and two potential issues facing dealers.

Tags: auto finance, compliance, REAL ID Act, Red Flags Rule

October 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

The Past, Present and Shifting Future of F&I

By Lloyd Trushel

Finance teams of the future will be staffed with professionals whose goals align with those of the dealer and whose jobs are supported — not replaced — by new and emerging technology.

Tags: Customer Experience, digital retailing, F&I manager, F&I process, F&I products, online F&I

October 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

There Is Power in Alliances

By John Vecchioni

Top trainer lists four ways to build an interdepartmental culture that rewards customers while maximizing the opportunity for F&I product sales.

Tags: Customer Experience, F&I office, F&I process, F&I products, showroom

October 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Bridging the Digital GAP

By Scott Hendriks and Vincent Weir

Once the king of the car-buying process, dealers are under attack in today’s Digital Age. Industry insiders believe auto finance sources hold the key to restoring order.

Tags: auto finance, digital marketing, digital retailing, direct lending, Indirect Lending, online F&I

September 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

F&I’s Compliance Driver

By Gil Van Over

An electronic menu can do more than drive the F&I process. Compliance expert offers standards and practices you can use to unlock an emenu’s true potential.

Tags: compliance, desking, digital retailing, F&I manager, F&I process, online F&I

September 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Industry Reacts to GM's Disclosure Policy

By Gregory Arroyo

General Motors dealers who sell non-GM service contracts, parts and accessories must now disclose to their customers that the products are not backed by the automaker. Dealer trade groups believe the OEM’s stated goal of enhanced ‘safety and transparency’ is not the real reason for the new policy.

Tags: aftermarket accessories, compliance, customer disclosures, dealers, F&I managers, General Motors, parts and service, vehicle service contracts

August 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Setting Up the Edesk

By Gil Van Over

Continuing with his noble effort to define the edealership, the magazine’s resident compliance pro explains why the desking process is ripe for digitization.

Tags: auto finance, compliance, desking, digital retailing, F&I manager, online F&I

August 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Disbanding the 'Seven Car Club'

By Reuben Muinos

Sales expert lists three tasks dealers must complete to rid their showrooms of underperforming sales pros.

Tags: Business Development Center, DealerSocket, digital retailing, internet department, Internet Leads, Internet Shopper, showroom

July 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Missed Calls, Missed Sales

By Erik Nachbahr

Despite today’s digital drive, call volumes at dealerships continue to rise. Dealership tech expert breaks down the two biggest phone problems that drive customers away.

Tags: Business Development Center, Car Buyers, internet department, Internet Leads, showroom

July 2017, F&I and Showroom - WebXclusive

FIDOY Nomination Period Extended to July 21

By Editorial Staff

The magazine has extended the nomination period for its 2017 F&I Dealer of the Year contest to July 21. Dealership employees, general agents, vendors, finance sources, and F&I product providers are encouraged to nominate their stores and dealer clients.

Tags: American Financial & Automotive Services, DOY Pacesetters, DOY Winners, F&I office

June 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Defining the Edealership

By Gil Van Over

Evolving times require evolving minds. Compliance expert offers a case study to help conceptualize the concept of converting brick-and-mortar dealerships into internet sales hubs.

Tags: digital retailing, econtracting, edealership

June 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

The Digital Evangelist

Integrating Dealertrack into Cox Automotive wasn’t Mark O’Neil’s only focus when he was named COO in March 2016. He was also charged with bringing together the company’s four business verticals — Retail Solutions, Inventory Solutions, Media Solution and Financial Solutions — to create what he called ‘One Cox Automotive.’

By Gregory Arroyo

Cox Automotive’s Mark O’Neil talks to the editor about MakeMyDeal’s future, digital retailing, and the fate of the F&I office.

Tags: Cox Automotive, Dealertrack, digital retailing, eMenu, MakeMyDeal, Mark O'Neil, online F&I

April 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

5 Tech Tools From NADA 2017

By Gregory Arroyo

There were plenty of new innovations on display in and around NADA 2017. The editor takes you on a tour of five new tech tools aiming to help dealers land more sales and F&I opportunities.

Tags: auto finance, AutoFi, ChannelNet, Darwin Automotive, DealerSocket, desking, digital retailing, digitla marketing, F&I menu, online F&I, WebBuy

April 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

New-Age Sales

Pictured are Roadster COO Rudi Thun and CEO and founder Andy Moss. The latter was formerly head of vehicles for eBay Motors and COO of CarWoo! The San Francisco-based firm evolved from a California broker site to digital retailing solution provider in June 2016.

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

Roadster’s Andrew Moss and Rudi Thun say they’ve created a digital transactional platform that works both in a buyer’s home and in the showroom. But as they readily admit, not every dealer is the ideal user.

Tags: digital marketing, digital retailing, online F&I, Roadster

February 2017, F&I and Showroom - Feature

The Million-Dollar Plan

By Michael Gorun

Fixed-ops expert says dealers who aren’t selling prepaid maintenance plans in service are leaving millions of dollars on the service drive floor each year.

Tags: F&I products, Michael Gorun, Prepaid Maintenance, Service Advisors, service drive sales

February 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

F&I to Go

un Toyota’s Showroom2Go program combines process with technology. For the latter, the dealership partnered with website provider fusionZONE Automotive to customize the online buying platform. It includes a finance module, trade-in value calculator, and the software that puts it all together: Dealmaker.

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

Sun Toyota’s John Marazzi was already an internet sales evangelist before launching a fully online process in September 2016. In its first month alone, the program delivered 75 closed deals and an F&I per-copy average that was just $45 shy of the in-store average.

Tags: digital retailing, online F&I, Sun Toyota, Test Drive, Toyota, vehicle delivery

January 2017, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

There's an App for That

The executive team for AutoGravity includes CTO Martin Prescher, CEO Andreas Hinrichs, COO Nicholas Stellman, and COO Serge Vartanov.

By Eric Gandarilla

AutoGravity’s Andreas Hinrichs believes his mobile financing app can serve as the ‘digital glue’ between dealers and finance sources, delivering ready-to-buy consumers to dealer showrooms.

Tags: F&I technology, Fletcher Jones, Mobile Applications, technology, Vehicle Financing

November 2016, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Formalized and Documented

By Gil Van Over

The magazine's compliance pro believes the FTC may soon take a page out of the CFPB's playbook when it comes to regulating dealers. He explains how dealers can get prepared.

Tags: CFPB, compliance, F&I, FTC

October 2016, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Examining the Bricks-to-Clicks Push

Moderated by F&I Administration’s Kumar Kathinokkula, the P&A Leadership Summit’s ‘Presenting F&I Products Online” panel discussion featured (l-r) Matt Nowicki of IAS, The Impact Group’s Mark Thorpe, Cox Automotive’s Brett Pomerantz, Dan Lievrouw of American Guardian, F&I Director Justin Gasman.

By Gregory Arroyo

Tech vendors believe the industry needs to respond to customer dissatisfaction with the F&I process, but not everyone believes moving the process online is the answer.

Tags: Industry Summit, NADA, online F&I, technology

July 2016, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Asset Protection

Courtesy of iStock. 

By David Nathanson

Retail expert says the more dealers carve out their place in the Digital Age, the more their proprietary and customer data becomes a legal and financial liability to their dealership.

Tags: Customer Privacy, data, Dealership Systems, technology

June 2016, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Hanging in the Balance

With moderator Robert Harkins looking on, Mosaic Compliance Services’ Jim Ganther offered his take on what the November elections could mean to the men and women manning the F&I office. If a Democrat is elected president, he said, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s fair lending crackdown could intensify.

By Gregory Arroyo

The compliance gurus at F&I Think Tank agreed that a lot is riding on the outcome of November’s presidential elections — including the fate of the F&I department.

Tags: Adverse Action Notice, CFPB, compliance, Dealer Summit, F&I products

April 2016, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

A New Direction

Pictured are Principle Auto CEO Abigail Kampmann and COO Mark Smith. Nine months after cofounding their four-store dealer group, they took a chance on a new auto-loan equity mining tool and marketing platform called VehicleXchange. It was developed by Dallas-based Pearl Technology Holdings LLC. At BMW of San Antonio, one of the group’s three Texas stores, sales grew 36% in the same year the dealership installed Pearl’s solution. 

By Eric Gandarilla

Principle Auto’s Mark Smith found success after abandoning some of his group’s tried-and-true sales strategies. Now he’s looking to take that change even further.

Tags: Equity Mining, Pearl Technology, Principle Auto, ShowroomXpress, technology, VehicleXchange

March 2016, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Mastering the Menu

By Gerry Gould

Does the transition to the F&I menu presentation stress you out? F&I trainer has the three-part cure.

Tags: Creative Selling, F&I menu, F&I Menu Presentation, F&I products

February 2016, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Want vs. Need: A Lesson in Salesmanship

Courtesy of iStockPhoto.

By George Spatt

Industry veteran tells an entertaining tale of a conquest sale from 40 years ago to relay three key lessons about salesmanship and the art of listening.

Tags: Dodge, sales, Tips

February 2016, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Perfecting the F&I Turnover

Courtesy of iStockPhoto. 

By Anna Puzier

Expert says salespeople play a critical role in what happens in the F&I office. She lists four ways they can successfully pave the road to back-end sales.

Tags: Finance, Millenials, Profitability, sales

January 2016, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Connection Commerce

By Gregory Arroyo

The editor goes one-on-one with MakeMyDeal founder Mike Burgiss, who says his company is making progress in its drive to connect car buyers to dealers online. Can he do the same for F&I?

Tags: car buying, Cox Automotive, F&I Connect, MakeMyDeal, Mobile Applications

December 2015, F&I and Showroom - Feature

Out of the Box

Impact Group's Mark Thorpe says moving F&I product info online might hurt, not help, F&I product sales. 

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

Panelists and presenters at Industry Summit 2015 tackled online automotive retailing and what it means to move F&I out of the box and into the Digital Age.

Tags: Cox Automotive, digital, F&I Express, MakeMyDeal, MaximTrak, NADA, Protective Asset Protection Division, RouteOne

December 2015, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

The Year Ahead: Part One

By David Nathanson

Dealer operations expert puts 2015 in the rearview mirror and identifies trends in sales, compliance and recalls that will affect dealers in 2016.

Tags: AutoNation, compliance, SAAR, Sonic Automotive, vehicle recall

November 2015, F&I and Showroom - Feature

F&I’s Shifting Paradigm

By Chris Meacham

An Ohio-based general agent believes the F&I industry is ignoring a paradigm shift and a chance to deliver what consumers really want: a better experience.

Tags: Customer Experience, Customer Interview, Customer Service, F&I products, mobile menu

November 2015, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Agents of Change

Northwest Honda’s GM Tony Carter and business managers Sam Baylasy (center) and Camille Kim (right) are putting information about F&I online to build trust with customers.

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

Studies show that change is coming to the finance department, and dealerships like Northwest Honda and Southern Chrysler-Jeep are making sure their F&I offices are ahead of the digital curve.

Tags: Covideo, EasyCare, F&I products, F&I Video, Online Buying, Online Marketing, Service Contracts, Video Advertising, YouTube

November 2015, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Fraud Alert

In January 2015, a man using a fake name purchased at least two vehicles online from Louisiana dealers with the intention of shipping them overseas.

By Brittany-Marie Swanson

Mansfield Auto World employees were stunned when a seemingly normal online transaction nearly turned into an international crime. Authorities say the dealership was the victim of a troubling new trend in auto theft.

Tags: Credit Cards, fraud, identity theft, Internet Leads, Internet Shopper, Red Flags Rule

November 2015, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Sign on the Electronic Line

Hudson Toyota in Madisonville, Ky., is one of the 1,300 or so Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships now econtracting with Toyota Financial Services. The captive processed its one millionth electronic contract last October. Today, 75% of the contracts it receives are submitted electronically.

By Gregory Arroyo and Justina Ly

Faster funding has always been a key selling point for dealers when it comes to econtracting. That could change as the industry pushes for a fully online transaction.

Tags: econtracting, iPad, Sonic Automotive, Toyota Financial Services

September 2015, F&I and Showroom - Cover Story

Setting the Pace

By Editorial Staff

Meet the five finalist for the 2015 F&I Dealer of the Year award, the winner of which was announced earlier this month at the magazine's annual conference.

Tags: DOY Pacesetters, F&I Dealer of the Year, F&I Pacesetters, F&I products, Industry Summit

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