GM's European slog

Since General Motors' decision to keep the Opel division following its 2009 bankruptcy, the company has had a revolving door of executives and a tough time finding traction in the crowded European market.


Ingredients to 50-plus mpg

Key pieces of the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze diesel's 52-mpg highway results.

Tech shortage curbs service department growth, survey says

Carlisle & Co. and Fixed Ops Journal asked dealers, general managers, and fixed ops directors about service matters. Among the findings: Technician issues are the biggest barrier to fixed ops growth, yet dealership executives spend little time recruiting techs.

Fixed in time

In the 1940s, the service department of a Ford dealership in California offered an Old West motif along with state-of-the-art lube equipment.

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New delinquent U.S. car loans at 8-year peak

More Americans fell behind on their car loan payments in the fourth quarter, bringing auto delinquencies to their highest since the height of the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Bank of New York data released on Thursday showed.

Helping subprime customers fosters loyalty

Train sales and F&I staff to help subprime consumers get into the right car with the right financing arrangement, advises Brien Joyce of EFG Cos. Many subprime consumers “are essentially good people who’ve fallen on hard times,” he said. “After they pick themselves back up, they will remember how they were treated when they were struggling, and they will be that much more loyal to the companies who treated them well.”

Used-car leasing fails to meet expectations

In spring 2016, the idea of used leasing buzzed around the National Automobile Dealers Association convention and the American Financial Services Association Vehicle Finance Conference in Las Vegas. Nearly a year later, used leasing is still only a sliver of the market.

VIDEO: Overcoming compliance fears

Many dealers are afraid of making compliance a priority, and that fear could be getting in the way of better performing F&I managers, according to Greg Kostern, business operations director at Johnson Automotive.

Thoughts on leasing from dealer council chairs

Ahead of January's National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans, Automotive News interviewed 25 dealer council chairs, or dealers holding the equivalent position, representing 31 brands. Here's a roundup of what some of them said about the outlook for leasing at their brand in 2017.

F&I sales are tougher without common ground

When a customer objects to buying an important F&I product, find common ground, suggests Rick McCormick of Reahard & Associates. “You can’t sell anything to anybody when you disagree,” he says. “When a customer knows you can relate to how they feel, they will listen to what you’re talking about.”

Why Audi's Keogh keeps leasing in check

Leasing accounts for a majority of Audi's sales in the U.S., but Audi of America President Scott Keogh says he wouldn't want the brand to get to a point where captive finance leasing dominates Audi's book of business.

Showroom intros, videos plant the F&I product seed

With squeezed new-vehicle margins, many dealers are relying on F&I for profit, but customers are often skeptical of F&I products. By introducing F&I products on the showroom floor or in videos, dealers can educate customers on product value before they step into the F&I office.

F&I masters employ emotion

In F&I, use emotion, then logic, suggests Rick McCormick of Reahard & Associates. "The only people that master the F&I craft are the people who use emotion at a very high level. Logic is only used to wrap up the sale," he said.

AutoGravity expands financing app, websites to 46 states

Car buyers across the country can now select a vehicle and financing offer through AutoGravity's mobile app and web platform. Consumers in 46 states will be able to access up to four financing offers through the company's smartphone app, website or partnering dealership websites. AutoGravity is working to obtain licenses in the remaining states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Dakota.

Robust leasing starts with employee training

To boost lease profit, train employees regularly on the benefits of leasing vs. buying, suggests Todd Cooper, vice president of training services for EFG Cos. Employees need to learn to explain the value of leasing based on the customer's driving and buying habits.

N.J. law would restrict use of starter-interrupt devices

The New Jersey Legislature has passed a bill that imposes disclosures and restrictions on the use of starter-interrupt devices, which auto lenders sometimes require be installed in vehicles when they approve loans to consumers with poor credit.