CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Protective Asset Protection, a leading provider of F&I programs, services and dealer owned warranty company programs, announced the results of its latest industry survey today, which illustrates how the pandemic impacted the sales of F&I products both online and at the dealership. The survey also addresses the increased role of digital retailing along with an increased shift in consumer demand for used vehicles.
With a greater emphasis on digital retailing, online shopping, used vehicle and EV/hybrid product sales, a larger number of dealers are looking for ways to maximize their opportunities in offering F&I products that cater to these shopper needs.
Protective Asset Protection commissioned an online survey during March 2021 and took the pulse of nearly 500 F&I and dealership executives across the U.S. According to the feedback, approximately a quarter of respondents said the sale of F&I products to customers has increased between 5% - 10% so far in 2021 compared with 2020.
The pandemic created an opportunity for dealers and their F&I departments to offer more digital tools when customers are researching and selecting F&I product options for the vehicles they are shopping for. Forty-five percent of dealers now make F&I product information available online, followed by financing options/loan application online (35%), and F&I product selection and pricing online (33%).
Other key highlights of the F&I product survey:
- 44% say the ability to adjust products offered based on a customer’s needs are most needed to sell F&I products online; followed by the ability for customers to select product and coverage options (41%), and online tools like videos to explain product benefits (38%).
- 42% say increased coverage for existing protection products such as VSCs would be the most impactful to improving F&I product sales; followed by a more diverse set of F&I product options (41%), and more F&I products designed specifically for used vehicles (37%).
- 38% say selling F&I along with increased transaction prices represent the biggest opportunities in selling F&I products today versus pre-pandemic; followed by longer loan terms (37%), and more EV/plugin sales (36%).
“With a greater emphasis on digital retailing, online shopping, used vehicle and EV/hybrid product sales, a larger number of dealers are looking for ways to maximize their opportunities in offering F&I products that cater to these shopper needs,” said Rick Kurtz, Senior Vice President – Distribution, Protective Asset Protection. “Expanded F&I product lineups, customized product offerings and additional F&I product education for both the dealer and their customers are all growing in importance for today’s transaction environment.”