Read the August issue of Fixed Ops Journal, the parts,
service and collision magazine from Automotive News.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include Bill Siever, president of Siever Brothers in Carlyle, Ill.; Dealer Bill Gatton of Bill Gatton Chevrolet-Cadillac in Bristol, Tenn.; Gary Duncan, dealer principal of Duncan's Hokie Honda in Christiansburg, Va.; Dealer principal Nelson Bowers II of Toyota of Cleveland in McDonald, Tenn.; and the Jim Ellis Automotive Group of Atlanta.

Don't ignore service customers

What am I, chopped liver? Don’t service customers put money in the till also?


Paint protection film not needed

As the former CEO of an automotive paint supplier, I am surprised that people are willing to spend extra money to protect the paint on their newly purchased vehicle.

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Sent early Monday mornings, this newsletter contains a summary of key stories from our weekly edition.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Wells Fargo's GAP refund problem offers a lesson

Wells Fargo found itself in hot water again last week for possibly neglecting to refund consumers' guaranteed asset protection payments after they paid off their auto loans. But there are two sides to every story, and in this case, the law isn't as clear as it seems.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Used sales bring F&I opportunity

Most of the six public new-car dealership groups focused on the growing used-vehicle market in their second-quarter earnings calls. That could be a plus for their F&I results.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Lease falloff goes beyond customer apathy

Leasing fell in the first half of the year, the first such drop since January-June 2012, according to Edmunds. But lack of consumer interest was only part of the reason.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
The best F&I managers have a knack for people

F&I is a people person job. It may sometimes hide under the guise of being a numbers profession, but most effective F&I managers succeed because they are good with people.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Auto financing via smartphone is smart move

Consumers have long been able to check their credit and get preapproved for financing through a dealership or lender website, but getting approved on-the-go through mobile devices may become many consumers' first choice when considering an auto loan.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
A flat tire taught me a warranty lesson

One of the several lessons I learned from a flat-tire experience last week was be more aware of my warranty. But an occasional reminder from the dealership or automaker that summarizes common occurrences the warranty covers would go a long way, giving customers more peace of mind and improving their relationships.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Are consumers' vehicle aspirations too high?

Consumers may be trying to bite off more than they can chew. Swapalease.com approved fewer than half of lease applicants in May because consumers applied for leases on out-of-budget, high-end vehicles.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
A case for recapping F&I

At the end of the car-buying process, many customers want to rush through F&I, get in their new car and drive away. It may pay off to visit F&I again later.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Women and F&I -- let's talk

One finance director says most of the successful F&I managers she knows are women. Yet the assumption lingers that the F&I world is unwelcoming to women and mothers.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Watch out for month-end fraud

The dealership fraud rate is 56 percent higher in the last week of the month than in the first week, PointPredictive says. The threat comes from outside and inside the dealership.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Should dealerships go back to the basics for best F&I results?

Whether it's a customized presentation, a digital menu or online F&I product intros, many F&I companies have suggested an adjusted approach for today's consumer. But for some dealerships, it may be best to stick to the basics, an F&I expert says.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz UPDATED: 5/11/17 12:57 pm ET - adds details
F&I vendors take aim at used vehicles

The trend toward used vehicles has extended beyond financing. It's become a focus in the F&I product world, too.

BLOG: James B. Treece
Lenders are shifting. Keep up.

Early first-quarter data show that lenders aren't as full-throttle on auto loans as before. It behooves F&I managers to keep close tabs on who's pulling back.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
For some states, it's time to revamp CFPB structure

Last month 15 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting the call to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Attorneys general often pride themselves on being the voice and advocate of the consumer, so criticizing a group that claims to fight for consumer protection appears out of character. Even so, the situation sheds even more light on the unusual set up of the CFPB.

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