Our Staff

Jackie Charniga

Retail / Finance & Insurance reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207 Detroit
Phone: 313-446-6047
E-Mail: jcharniga@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

How America's auto retail giants transformed and navigated the recession

In two tumultuous days in September 2008, Lehman Brothers and mega-insurer AIG collapsed, and Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch, which was on the verge of sinking. The Wall Street panic and credit crunch that ensued devastated the U.S. auto industry. Apocalypse loomed. The publicly traded titans of American auto retailing were gravely exposed. One question stood above all: Could they avoid b

Through thick and thin, dependable profits from F&I fight margin compression

In the past decade, F&I profits have steadily increased, and continue to be a powerful weapon for dealers against margin compression.

JM&A pilots virtual F&I sales consultants

F&I product and training company JM&A Group is piloting a program in which its employees sell F&I products via Skype to consumers in dealerships.

Vendors should show they care

To streamline operations, improve profits and satisfy customers, dealers look to vendors for innovation that can put them ahead of the competition. But when it comes to retaining a dealer's business over the long haul, a personal touch goes a long way.

Lithia invests in alliance with used-car startup

The partnership will provide the capital Shift needs to expand beyond California and across the country.

Lithia pours $54 million into used-car startup

Lithia Motors is investing $54 million into online used-car buying startup Shift Technologies. The money will help Shift expand technologically and geographically.

Switching to used isn't always a solution for negative equity buyers

With prices on the rise and supplies tightening, switching from new vehicles to used might not help enough for customers re-entering the market upside down in their loans.

Consumer credit availability still weighs on dealers in Q3

Credit concerns are the new normal for franchised dealers in 2018, according to the latest Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index. Higher interest rates, tightening lending standards and rising vehicle prices have franchised dealers surveyed for the third-quarter index feeling the pinch as credit availability for consumers crept up slightly on a list of factors holding business back.

The battle against F&I vendor overload

As more and more finance and insurance vendors knock on dealerships' doors, how can dealers determine which are the best fit?

A store's DMS can drive vendor decisions

Despite challenges, a dealership's DMS can have a strong influence on which vendors, F&I and otherwise, the store works with.

More than just tools

Products, services and vendor relationships that improve the customer and dealership experience rank high on dealerships' vendor selection checklist.

New Ford Credit CEO focuses on dealers, fintech

UPDATED: 9/10/18 11:16 am ET - corrected

In his first year as Ford Credit CEO, David McClelland has focused on dealer relationships, fintech solutions and affordability.

Tariff threat drags down dealers

More than half of franchised dealers answering the Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index survey for the third quarter expect that tariffs would negatively impact future profits.

Could rising interest rates threaten captives' market share?

One-time, short-term incentives could become a more equitable approach to spiffs than subvention for automakers and captives.

Two New York dealerships ordered to pay for deceptively selling F&I add-on product

Two New York dealerships have been ordered to stop deceptively selling vehicle etch products to customers. The dealerships will also be required to pay restitution, damages and civil penalties, the New York attorney general's office said.

Pennsylvania dealership to pay more than $2 million after bank fraud scheme

A Pennsylvania dealership has agreed to pay more than $2 million in fines and restitution after bank fraud accusations.

0 percent interest deals face sunset

A financing tradition established by GM after the Sept. 11 attacks is seeing its sunset as interest rates rise. In July, 0 percent financing dipped to its lowest level for any July since 2005.

Monthly payments hit record high in Q2

UPDATED: 8/30/18 4:25 pm ET - corrected

Monthly payments for new- and used-vehicle loans hit record highs during the second quarter, but customers are still making their payments on time, Experian said.

Ally to exit RV, transportation and equipment markets

Ally, one of the nation's largest auto lenders, plans to focus on its core operations by phasing out transportation equipment finance, which covers marine vessels, airplanes, rail cars and other nonautomotive vehicle assets that are originated directly with the customer, as well as the commercial and consumer lines of the RV business

El CEO de Lear encabeza la lista de ejecutivos mejor pagados

Matthew Simoncini, quien se jubiló después de guiar al proveedor de asientos Lear Corp a registrar ventas y ganancias record, fue el CEO mejor pagado entre las compañías automotrices públicas de los Estados Unidos el año pasado, según el estudio de compensación de Automotive News / Equilar.

Lear CEO tops list of highest paid execs

Matthew Simoncini, who retired after guiding Lear to record sales and profits, was the highest-paid CEO at publicly traded U.S. automotive companies last year, according to the Automotive News/Equilar CEO Compensation study.

Chicago police warn dealers of auto fraud epidemic

A flood of vehicles obtained fraudulently and shipped to metro Chicago has prompted police to warn dealers nationwide to exercise extra diligence in verifying the identity of online customers.

Mercedes-Benz captive, VW Credit top J.D. Power dealer study of financing appeal

Mercedes-Benz Financial, Volkswagen Credit and Citizens One Auto Finance are top lenders in their categories as ranked by dealers, J.D. Power finds.

Selling service contracts after the vehicle sale is a winner

Selling service contracts post-transaction to customers can be a lucrative profit booster, F&I experts say.

As rates rise, automakers slash 0% financing

No-interest financing deals are drying up across the industry as automakers cut back on the once-common tactic.


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