Enterprise shares renter feedback with automakers

An Enterprise Rent-a-Car mobile app now lets customers rate their rental vehicles, providing feedback to automakers on what are essentially extended test drives.


Sienna, Yaris add safety upgrades

Toyota will unveil upgraded versions of the Sienna minivan and Yaris hatchback at the New York auto show next month, focused mainly on safety system and infotainment improvements.


Compacts show strength

Tax refunds, often used as down payments on used cars, have trickled out more slowly this year. In turn, previously beaten-down prices of used


Getting payment figures down to the penny

With advancements in online tools for trade-in valuation and financing, could there be a day when consumers get exact payment offers via third-party sites before stepping foot in dealerships?


Online presentation is key for F&I profits

Dealers who take a holistic approach to presenting F&I products online will engage consumers, increase their willingness to buy and boost profitability, Cox Automotive's Mark O'Neil says.


Letting customers desk the deal fosters trust

Give customers more control over their transaction by allowing them to desk the deal on an iPad, suggests Rudi Thun, COO of Roadster. “From a psychological standpoint,” he said, “when trust is uncertain or shaky, providing a sense of control will significantly increase the purchasing experience overall satisfaction.”


CFPB structure is unconstitutional, Justice Department says

The Trump administration took an unusual step to defang the financial consumer watchdog created after the banking crisis, with the executive branch of the federal government telling a court that one of its own agencies is violating the U.S. Constitution.


CU Direct's network climbs to No. 2 in auto loan originations

Credit unions on CU Direct's auto lending network as a group were the second-largest auto financing source in 2016, CU Direct said. Wells Fargo Dealer Services was top in auto loan originations in 2016, and Ally Financial, the 2015 leader, ranked third.


Coach credit unions on positives of indirect lending

F&I managers, coach your credit union partners, suggests Michael Cochrum of CU Direct. “There used to be this adversarial relationship” because credit unions encouraged direct lending to consumers, he said, which deprived dealerships of earning retail margins on loans. Dealers should “explain why direct is disruptive to the process … and why [each] piece of the process is important to the dealership,” he said.


Big lenders backing off subprime loans

Some of the nation's largest auto lenders are likely to remain cautious about subprime in 2017 - especially the lower end of subprime - after hitting the brakes on the segment to varying degrees in 2016. The void could result in smaller lenders, including buy-here, pay-here dealerships, gaining share, including business from customers who can no longer find financing at new-car dealerships.


App-based GPS a hit with dealers, buyers

App-based GPS systems lead a double life. Purchased by dealers and installed on vehicles for inventory and lot management, the products also serve as a profit center when sold to consumers as security feature in the F&I department.


Store puts F&I in sales managers' hands

At McGeorge Toyota in Henrico, Va., the sales managers do the job that an F&I manager typically does -- menu-sell F&I products and arrange financing. The result is higher customer satisfaction scores, faster transaction times and a boost in revenue on both F&I and new-vehicle sales.


Balancing front end, F&I to maximize profit

F&I managers eager to boost their commissions sometimes entice customers to buy F&I products with giveaways that slice into the otherwise solid profit made on the front end of the vehicle transaction. There are ways dealers can stop the drain, but the first step is recognition of the potential.

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