HOUSTON — Group 1 Automotive, an international dealer group with outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil, raised its consolidated F&I profit per-copy average by $27 to $1,352. The group’s U.S.-based F&I operations continued to live $1,500 per copy.
In the United States, the group’s F&I operations averaged $1,515 in F&I per vehicle retailed (PVR), a $65 improvement over last year. Its consolidated average was held down by the $54 and $238 PVR drops in the United Kingdom and Brazil, where the average stood at $693 and $399, respectively.
For the first nine months of the year, the group’s per-copy average for its U.S.-based F&I operations was $1,529, up $79 from the first nine months of 2014.
The PVR increase in Group 1’s U.S. market was driven, in part, by an increase in penetration rates for most of the group’s F&I product offerings. Officials also listed consolidation of its lender base, the availability of consumer financing, including improved subprime financing, and integrating compliance, training and benchmarking to create a transparent customer experience as other drivers.
“We are very pleased with where we are and we work every day to improve the underperforming stores and increase our product penetrations,” said Peter DeLongchamps, vice president of financial services and manufacturer relations. “So that’s just been a lot of hard work by my team and we are delighted with the results.”
Product acceptance rates varied in the group’s three markets, with service contracts leading the way in every one. In the United States, service contracts penetrated at a rate of 40%, while GAP, prepaid maintenance and the group’s paint sealant product posting acceptance rates of 28%, 12% and 19%, respectively.
The group posted a 10.8% increase in U.S. same-store F&I gross profit, which totaled $97 million, while total F&I revenue grew by 12% from a year ago.
For the quarter, the group posted record earnings and revenue. Total revenue increased 6.6% to an all-time quarterly record of $2.8 billion, while total gross profit grew 6.3% to an all-time quarter record of $398.4 million. The group also reported record adjusted net income of $46 million, a 15.7% increase from a year ago.
All three of the group’s markets sold a combined 47,126 new vehicles and 32,491 used vehicles on a same-store basis during the third quarter. Its U.S. operations accounted for 37,132 of the new vehicles sold and 26,756 of the used vehicles sold. All three markets experienced double-digit increase in used-vehicle sales, the U.K. market realizing the largest increase during the period compared to a year ago.