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Subaru aims to get serious about micro sales in world's biggest market

Subaru has a growing sense of urgency to get serious about China, where the brand is barely treading water.


With AI digital assistant, drivers talk to their cars

The auto industry is in the early days in utilizing smart digital assistants to create unique, in-car user experiences. Here's what CES attendees see in the future.

Use a clear lens to stay compliant

Dealers may “unwittingly fit a fact pattern” targeted by regulators even when they have good intentions, Jay Seirmarco of Cox Automotive said while discussing Dealertrack's 2018 Compliance Guide. For example, if a dealer allows parents juggling a newborn to take delivery before credit has been approved, “it may give an appearance of a practice that's inappropriate, even if it's well-intentioned,” he said. Staying compliant takes looking at yourself through a clear lens.

UPDATED: 1/12/18 4:26 pm ET -- adds details
Report alleges discriminatory financing by dealerships

A report by the National Fair Housing Alliance found discriminatory pricing tactics in car sales and financing by dealerships. The National Automobile Dealers Association says the report is not representative of "the majority of new-vehicle interactions.”

Murky Military Lending Act requirements leave industry scrambling

The Department of Defense's latest interpretation of the Military Lending Act, published last month, includes a murky set of rules that could retroactively put dealers and lenders in regulatory jeopardy, attorneys, compliance experts and industry trade associations say.

Ask service contract holders for reviews

F&I managers, ask service writers to introduce you to customers who've had a repair claim paid under a vehicle service contract, says John Tabar, director of training at United Development Systems. After learning about customers' experiences, ask them to write a review explaining how the service contract benefited them. “Give them a fresh card,” Tabar suggests. “Maybe they will mention you, too.”

COMMENTARY: Hannah Lutz
F&I trends won't let up in 2018

Last year brought its fair share of changes in auto finance. Here are some trends that likely will continue in 2018.

At Daimler, mobility falls under finance

Many of Daimler AG's mobility initiatives in the U.S. and internationally fall under its finance arm, Daimler Financial Services. Finance and mobility are often assumed to be separate tracks, but to Daimler's leaders, they merge.

Innovators shift F&I retailing to the Web

Digital innovators Drive Motors, Roadster and AutoGravity are reshaping the way consumers shop for vehicle financing and F&I products. And they say dealers and lenders are poised to benefit.

Subaru store shifts pay plan to spur F&I sales

Patriot Subaru in Saco, Maine, reworked F&I officers' pay plans, compensating them on product sales rather than finance reserve. The result? Improved F&I sales, revenue per vehicle and take-home pay.

Use customers’ F&I research as a sales tool

Compliment customers when they come in armed with third-party research on F&I and use it as a sales tool, suggests Ron Reahard of Reahard & Associates. “If a customer sees it on the Internet, it gives you third-party credibility.” It’s not just the F&I manager suggesting the product; information on a third-party website may persuade the customer, too.

Form an F&I, sales alliance

F&I managers, make your sales manager an ally, not an adversary, suggests F&I training expert Tony Dupaquier. Put everyone on the same team, he advises, and educate and train the sales team on F&I once a month.

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