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Business Management

F&I Department Performance Benchmarks

Steve Jones dives into the profitability of top performing and national average Finance and Insurance departments. How does your dealership stack up?

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I always like to include a snapshot of some pertinent numbers for the overall store. This helps set the stage for the individual department data.

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The total store stats show us that the top five dealers did just over 8.4 million in total sales, while the average dealer for both this group and the national norm dealers sold around 5 million through the end of July.

Total store sales dollars are continuing to increase compared with last year. Overall, the powersports business is still showing steady growth. However, the top five dealers are absolutely on the gas — they increased by more than 40 percent as compared with 2011.

Gross margins are holding steady, but could be a bit stronger for the group and the national norm dealers. Logged working contacts are increasing at a good rate as dealers continue to focus on their customer logs.
Note that F&I contributed close to 12 percent to the overall store gross profit for the national norm dealers and almost 15 percent for the top five. Financed deals are up significantly over 2011, reflecting better financing availability and (probably) some consumer credit improvements as well.

As you can see in chart 2, gross profit is up nicely in the F&I department for most dealers. The top five are up a staggering 103 percent! Given that our F&I classes have been full, and we are doing quite a bit of on-site F&I training as well, I suspect training is a big part of the reason. Another factor is the low personnel expense for the top five. They are producing considerably more gross profit income per employee in this department. Even though they are larger than the national norm or group average dealers in revenue and sales volume, they are only averaging 1.5 people in their F&I department. Wow. Do you suppose this might indicate that they have people with more skills and better training?

The result of their effort really shows up when you look at the gross profit per vehicle sold (PVS) and per vehicle financed (PVF). How does your dealership compare with either of these numbers? How about compared with the finance penetration numbers? Remember, your ability to get them financed is vital to getting add-on F&I and accessories sales. If you aren’t making it happen in your F&I department, you need to ask yourself, “Why not?” Simple formula: Do what it takes to get it fixed and your profits will go up.

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The gross profit per employee number is a measurement that levels the field for all sizes of dealers. This is where the rubber meets the road. How much gross profit is your staff making for your dealership?
Dive into the numbers for the F&I department in your dealership. How do they compare? If there are areas that need improvement, develop a list of actions to be taken in order of priority. Include target dates for completion and the name of the person responsible. Hold that person accountable.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me for information, explanation or to discuss how GSA can help you grow your business profitably.

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