BMW's iX3 concept heralds electric expansion

BMW previewed the expansion of full-electric cars into its core product lineup with the iX3 concept at the Beijing auto show.

Calif. pension plan urged to divest automakers that skirt emissions rules

A group of congressional Democrats representing California urged the state's pension system to divest stock from any automaker that follows the Trump administration's plan to relax light-vehicle emissions standards.

UPDATED: 4/20/18 10:35 am ET - adds details
Wells Fargo fined $1 billion for auto loan, mortgage abuse

The settlement with the CFPB cites Wells Fargo's practice of forcing auto insurance on some customers who took out loans to buy new vehicles. Wells Fargo also will "remediate harmed consumers," the bureau said.

UPDATED: 4/19/18 2:48 pm ET - adds details
Tim Russi to leave Ally Financial

Tim Russi, the Ally Financial auto finance president who led many digital initiatives and helped expand the lender's dealership reach, is leaving the post, effective immediately.

Examples help sell tech protection

Use specific examples to show the value of F&I products that protect in-vehicle technology, said Rick Regrut, finance manager at Smail Kia in Greensburg, Pa. Repairs for backup cameras, screens and other technology can be costly. “I had a Cadillac that had a key system fail, and it cost $2,000 to replace,” Regrut said. “Customers respond well to those examples.”

UPDATED: 4/18/18 12:59 pm ET
U.S. Senate votes to repeal CFPB's auto-lending guidance

A resolution rescinding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's auto lending guidance, which aims to limit dealerships' retail margin on loans, passed by a narrow margin in the Senate. It will head to the House floor next for a vote.

CarMax captive's profit rises

Income at CarMax Auto Finance rose 22 percent in the latest quarter, despite a rise in the share of financings where the retailer paid a fee to outside lenders.

Pair products on the menu

F&I menus should pair items that go well together, suggests F&I trainer Chari Fogel. For example, the maintenance agreement should follow the service contract, and tire and wheel should follow the maintenance agreement. “The presentation itself needs to be transparent, filled with value and benefit that will help the customer see that it’s important for them to protect their ownership period by enrolling in these products.”

U.S. senate panel to repeal CFPB's auto lending rules, chief says

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee plans to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's indirect auto lending and leveraged lending rules in coming weeks. The bureau in 2013 sought to limit loan markups and compensation for dealers on auto loans -- specifically on the basis of race, national origin, or credit score.

Early credit awareness will improve car-buying process

Most millennials and baby boomers say they understand their credit scores' influence on vehicle financing, according to an Equifax survey. Still, dealerships, lenders and credit bureaus should take more initiative to educate consumers before they visit the dealership, Equifax experts say.

Consider workflow

Rather than extending the dealership staff's hours and hiring more employees during busy periods, "consider whether your team needs more training on working together to reduce consumer downtime, ensuring accuracy throughout the process and shortening transaction time," suggests John Stephens of EFG Cos. "For example, are your F&I managers conducting their initial meet and greet on the sales floor?"

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