TORRANCE, Calif. — Organizers of F&I and Showroom’s annual conference have added Joe Castle to the 2012 agenda. The CEO of Chicago-based Castle Auto Group will reveal how he established a better connection between his operation and today’s Internet customer without disrupting F&I.

Castle, who appeared on the cover of the magazine’s April 2012 cover, will present “Check the Connection: Linking F&I to Today’s Internet Customer” on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m. This year’s conference is being held Sept. 10-12 at the Paris Las Vegas.

“Joe really gets it,” said Gregory Arroyo, editor of F&I and Showroom magazine and advisory board chairman for Industry Summit 2012. “People keep talking about how F&I needs to adjust, but Joe has done the opposite and proven that a connection can be made between what today’s customer wants and F&I profitability.”

As detailed in the magazine’s April cover story, Castle implemented his digital and social media strategy six years ago, and turned around his two zero-grossing stores into $5.2 million-a-year operations. More importantly, his Internet sales process hasn’t hampered the profitability of his F&I producers, which average $1,200 per copy and claim acceptance rates of 50 percent for both GAP and service contracts.

“You still need to give F&I the time it needs to build relationships; there shouldn’t be any shortcutting of that process,” he told the magazine. “And customers are so happy with the experience that they want to buy F&I products.”

Castle will cover a host of topics during his hour-long presentation, including new social networking techniques his stores employ to capture a customer’s financing and, ultimately, the deal.

“The Internet customer is a big topic these days, but Joe will show attendees why F&I plays such a key role in a dealership’s online strategy,” Arroyo added. “Joe also is one of several dealers we’ve invited this year to lead the conference’s educational sessions.”

For more information or to register for Industry Summit 2012, click here.