Ford leads automakers in patents for first time

Ford received more patents this year than any other automaker, a first for the Blue Oval as it increases the technology in vehicles and dabbles in alternative forms of transportation.

Nissan to focus on cost, technology with emphasis on what it can control

Nissan, the Japanese automaker that's become symbolic of what it means to be a truly global manufacturer, has a simple plan to navigate an

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BLOG: Hannah Lutz
CFPB future grows cloudy under Trump appointments

The future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is becoming more complicated. Along with the U.S. Court of Appeals' call to restructure the agency, President-elect Donald Trump's recent appointments could signal a challenge for the agency.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Pitch women on practicality, men on luxury

Women may be more practical lease shoppers than men. They secure lower monthly payments, and they tend to exit leases out of need, rather than want, more often than men.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Second chances pay off

Giving second chances to consumers with credit profiles previously tainted with foreclosures and short sales is paying off.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Embrace tools that help dealers, lenders relate

Equifax has introduced a new tool to help lenders gain market intelligence and better relate to their dealership partners. Without a direct connection, it acknowledges one of dealers’ top concerns.

BLOG: James B. Treece
Market your F&I department!

Dealerships need to market their F&I departments. Dealerships promote their deals on vehicles; why not their deals on financing?

BLOG: Jamie LaReau
The F&I box stresses managers, too

The girl with the finance tattoo has burned out. She revealed her plight in a post this month on a Facebook page dedicated to dealership F&I managers. Her cry for help garnered a lot of empathy, not surprising given that some studies show F&I managers have low tenure and high turnover.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Has lease penetration peaked? Experts are split.

Lease penetration in August dropped from the year-earlier level, Manheim’s preliminary numbers show. And the company says it could be the start of a pattern. Edmunds sees leasing differently. Its data show lease penetration was up in August, and the company predicts leasing will continue to rise. Where does that leave auto finance?

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Rising credit scores, volume on the used lot

As a rising number of vehicles come off lease, used-vehicle sales are climbing. Reliable cars at lower cost are drawing more prime-quality customers to the used side of the showroom.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Start prepping now for mobility sea change

Car ownership and financing are ripe for innovation over the next 25 years, with most changes leading to more options for consumers and decisions for dealers.

BLOG: James B. Treece
In defense of service contracts

Consumer advocates who bad-mouth service contracts are off base. A cost-benefit analysis that relies only on actuarial logic misses the point.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
How speed plays a role in CFPB's 'regulation by enforcement'

When some politicians accused the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of regulation by enforcement in the spring, many auto insiders wondered why the regulator wouldn't make a rule that auto lenders would know they would have to follow.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Look beyond payment when structuring leases

Monthly payments have become a significant factor in customers’ financing decisions. But dealers should look beyond the monthly payment to offer customers the best lease deal.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Is this form a hassle or a help?

Each dealership must decide how much effort it wants to put toward compliance. Many, apparently, choose not to use NADA’s dealer participation certification form, part of its Fair Credit Compliance Policy & Program.