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Florida Dealer Group Drives Profits With Bi-Weekly Payment

August 18, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Balise Motors Sales Co. experienced a 55 percent increase in product sold per retail unit and an additional annual F&I product gross of over $1 million after using the U.S. Equity Advantage LLC (USEA) automated bi-weekly payment service.

The Florida dealer group began using the bi-weekly payment service in 2008 in an effort to improve profitability and increase product sales in the F&I department. Balise Motor Sales Co. is ranked No. 57 on Automotive News’ list of top 125 dealership groups in the United States, and owns and operates 20 dealerships in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

According to Mike Balise, vice president of the dealer group, the bi-weekly payment service is a great profit center for his dealerships while also being good for the customer, “The USEA program is working really well in our dealerships. We have greatly increased the sale of products contributing to an overall increase of $85 per retail unit. It’s a total win-win for the customer and the dealership,” Balise said.

“With the USEA program we are able to show the customer that with this program they can afford to add in the warranty they really wanted but thought they couldn’t afford, while keeping the same monthly payment. They even pay the vehicle off faster. It’s a slick sales tool,” he added.

With the USEA program, loans are paid with 26 biweekly payments a year rather than 12 monthly payments. The program helps customers reduce the payoff term of the loan, reduce the amount of interest paid, and build equity in their vehicle faster – meaning that they will be in a better position to trade sooner.

By utilizing the USEA program, a dealer can offer additional products to their customer while maintaining virtually the same monthly payment and keeping the loan payoff term essentially the same. The service also allows the dealer to offer a customer the benefits of an extended term without increasing the monthly payment and keeping the loan payoff term essentially the same — picking up $600-$1600 worth of product in the process.

Mike Spanillo, finance manager with Balise Chevrolet, was one of the first F&I managers at Balise to use the program. In just 10 months, he has made an additional product income of over $188,000, an average of $18,000 per month. He has found it particularly good for selling smaller products such as an auto theft or road hazard product for around $395.

The USEA program is considered an “after line 5” product, which means that regardless of how many products the dealership currently offers, it can add this one to the list without having to sacrifice another product.

“Customers love this program, which is the first and foremost thing about it. They may want to buy a service contract but it can seem undoable in one lump sum,” Spanillo said. “It’s helped with customers who were perhaps getting an extended service contract already and were trying to pick up GAP insurance as well, it now becomes affordable.”

For more information about the USEA service, call 866-425-3729 ext 242, e-mail orders@useabiweekly.com, or visit, www.www.useabiweekly.com.

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