TORRANCE, Calif. — F&I and Showroom announced today this year’s category winners and finalists for the IAS-sponsored F&Idol contest. The five F&I managers now head to Industry Summit 2014, scheduled for Sept. 8-10, for the final round and a chance to win the overall award and the contest’s $2,500 grand prize.
This year’s field of F&Idol finalists includes the overall winners from the 2012 and 2013 contests. The two F&I professionals also work for the same dealer group. Also making the final round is the three-time winner of the contest’s tire-and-wheel category.
In late July, readers of F&I and Showroom magazine were asked to submit their best on-camera pitch in the following categories: Vehicle Service Contract, Tire & Wheel, Key Replacement, F&I Product for Lease Customers and an open category.
Video entries had to be less than five minutes long, and show the producer handling at least two customer objections. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of six judges, who awarded points for transition statements and overall flow, customer rapport, product disclosures, product knowledge, use of personal stories and objection handling.
The following are this year’s category winners:
Vehicle Service Contract
Dina Wilson, Timbrook Automotive, Cumberland, Md.: The F&I director is the 2012 winner of the F&Idol contest. This is also her second time winning the Vehicle Service Contract Category.
Tire & Wheel
Jeremy Johnston, The Suburban Collection, Troy, Mich.: This year marks the third-straight year the F&I manager took top honors in the Tire and Wheel category, an honor he shared last year with Candy Serra, a fellow F&I manager at The Suburban Collection.
Stephanie Cooper, Timbrook Automotive, Cumberland, Md.: Cooper returns for a chance to win her second-straight F&Idol title. Last year, the F&I manager made it to the final round by winning the Vehicle Service Contract category.
F&I Products for Lease Customers
Justin Gasman, McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC, Boulder, Colo.: Justin is a first-time category winner. The F&I director and his dealership are also vying for the 2014 F&I Dealer of the Year award.
Rodger Martin, Stan McNabb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Tullahoma, Tenn.: Rodger Martin is a first-timer category winner. The business manager is a seven-year F&I professional.
The five finalists, which will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a trip to Industry Summit 2014, will be honored during a special ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 4:30 p.m. inside the Paris Las Vegas’ Champagne Ballroom. The overall winner, however, will not be named.
Instead, finalists will be asked to reshoot their category-winning entries at the conference. Those videos will serve as their entries for the contest’s final round, which will be voted on by readers of F&I and Showroom magazine. The winner, who will receive an additional $2,500, will then be announced in the magazine’s November 2014 issue.
Industry Summit includes educational tracks for F&I, Special Finance, Used Vehicle Retailing, Dealership Sales & Technology and P&A Leadership. For more information or to register, visit www.industrysummit.com.