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NADA, ATAEs and AFIP Move Forward With F&I Certification Campaign

June 1, 2004

BEDFORD, Texas -- In an initiative to improve the standard and image of F&I departments, three major industry groups are officially recommending the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals' F&I certification to all U.S. dealers. The National Automobile Dealers Association, state and regional dealer associations and AFIP started a nationwide campaign to get finance personnel certified and to inform the public about the industry's self-regulation efforts.

The AFIP Certified F&I Professional program ensures that finance managers have a deep understanding of state and federal laws that govern the F&I process. The associations will collaborate to tailor the program for each state and region.

The partnership was forged in response to the recent flood of exposés and lawsuits that question the ethics of F&I. Through certification, dealers can demonstrate to consumers that they are taking the necessary steps to ensure ethical practices. AFIP will draft press releases for each individual completing the program to publish with local media outlets.

This initiative also sends a clear message to regulators, legislators, litigators and media that the industry has taken decisive, demonstrable steps to address any misgivings about F&I, said Dave Robertson, AFIP executive director. NADA will publish articles about AFIP certification in Automotive Executive and in communiqués to its constituents. It will also generate related press releases for national media.

"The integrity of the F&I process can only be preserved through self-regulation," said Robertson.

F&I Magazine's Conference and Expo in November will cover a portion of the AFIP certification fee for conference attendees.

For information on AFIP certification, contact your state or regional dealer association or AFIP.

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