At GSA we track benchmarks through our involvement with dealer groups, such as the Best Operators Club. The BOC group’s by-laws require that all members provide accurate dealership operations data on a monthly basis. Some of the members have kindly consented to let us share their numbers from our real-time, web-based data reporting system.
This column explores the F&I department benchmarks and dealer data. Future columns will address the numbers from the other departments. We will discuss what we measure, and why, as well as examine the current BOC benchmarks.
The charts presented here depict actual December ’07 F&I Department numbers for one of the BOC dealers. This is a fair-sized, multi-line dealership located in a southern town of around 65,000 people. There are no major metropolitan centers nearby. This dealer maintains a high-quality facility and stocks a wide product selection.
Their total unit volume for motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs and PWCs in 2007 was just more than 1,200 units. They have become the dominant dealer in the region, due in large part to their well-trained, professional staff and their commitment to outstanding customer service. This fact is demonstrated by the volume they sell in a relatively small market. What’s more, this dealer is not getting these numbers by discounting his prices. Chart 1 verifies this. He is at or above most of the benchmarks and above the TBOC (which stands for Top Best Operators Club in a category see "Lingo").
This dealer had one manager and one support person processing all the F&I customers. This is a highly-capable and productive F&I team. They had 312 deals financed inside and only three deals went to outside financing. This means this dealer is exceptional at conversions. They were able to convert customers from financing with banks, credit unions or even paying cash to dealer financing. Why is this important? In the following charts this dealer averaged over $500 in finance profit alone! In addition, customers who finance with you are much more likely to buy additional F&I products as well as clothing and accessories.
Applications submitted, turn-downs and approved applications that did not buy also need to be tracked and monitored. Following up with any customers who were approved but did not buy is extremely important. All this data provides important information that management can use to develop processes that improve the performance of the F&I department.
This dealer is very good at F&I. Just look at the 79% of deals financed and the 68% ESC penetration. As you can also see from chart 2, they have beaten many of the benchmarks as set by the BOC members and are out-performing the TBOC significantly.
So, just how profitable was F&I for this dealer? Look at the details in chart 3. In December they sold $118,657 in F&I products for a gross profit of $72,319. For 2007 they sold over $1 million in F&I! Could you have used $657,000 of additional gross profit on your sales? Incidentally, the YTD PVS of $830 is just that; per vehicle sold, not just per vehicle financed.
How does this dealer do it? One of the biggest factors is the right people with the right training. You can’t put just anyone in the F&I position and expect to see results like this. They must have the aptitude (sales and paperwork skills), the attitude (customer-friendly) and the proper training.
F&I training should be a no-brainer. There are not many areas where the return on investment for providing training for the proper person is so high. F&I should be one of the most profitable areas of your business. As Gart Sutton is so fond of saying, F&I stands for "found income" so why aren’t you cashing in?
CY: current year
PVS: per vehicle sold
TBOC: average of the top five BOC members in this category
* Some rows and columns without data have been removed to reduce table sizes.
|M/C Gross Profit %||17.16||17||14.248|
|ATV Gross Profit %||16.2||16||12.17|
|UTV Gross Profit %||13.92||14||7.406|
|PWC Gross Profit %||13.67||15||-7.782|
|M/C Gross Profit %||25.64||18||17.77|
|PWC Gross Profit %||13.67||15||-7.782|
|Finance Gross Profit Dollars per Vehicle Sold||512.32||500||322.52|
|Finance Net Operating Profit per Vehicle Sold||333.56||300||174.496|
|% of Deals Financed||79.44||70||58.344|
|% of Service Contract Penetration||68.27||50||29.368|
|% of Pre-Paid Maintenance Penetration||27.31||30||14.63|
|% of Financed Deals with GAP Protection||15.37||30||10.408|
|% of Financed Deals with Credit Life Protection||7.28||10||5.502|
|% of Financed Deals with Credit Disability Protection||6.07||10||5.968|
|Finance Sales & Gross Profit|
|2007 TBOC PVS||337||40||297|
Landmaster is continuing to grow by adding over an additional 90 new dealers to its national and international mix of dealers. Landmaster’s primary focus this year has been adding dealers in the farm and agriculture segment. “By taking on the Landmaster product, several of our large implement and tractor dealers are starting to see more residential-based consumers stop by their dealership vs. the typical farm and commercial user. Prior to this, dealers primarily dealt with commercial and farm customers; now dealers can benefit by selling our UTVs along with their other products to the residential large landowner,” commented David Piercy, director of marketing for Landmaster.
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