The resurgence of 0 percent financing for Black Friday deals pulled down the average interest rate on new-vehicle loans from the month earlier, but rates still grew year over year and will likely continue to rise.
The new head of the U.S. consumer financial watchdog on Tuesday said she intended to continue some of the work begun by her predecessor Mick Mulvaney, including a review of decades-old rules preventing lending discrimination against minorities.
Alongside affordability challenges, high interest rates and difficulty obtaining credit for customers have clouded dealers' typically rosy outlooks, according to Cox Automotive's Dealer Sentiment Index survey.
Today, unethical behavior at dealerships is more difficult to get away with than in the past. Dealers set policies to weed out unethical characters, and social media and consumer resources often shed light on unethical business practices.
An investigation almost 20 years ago of suspected criminal activity at Gunderson Chevrolet, one of AutoNation's largest dealerships, shook the automotive world and led to today's compliance practices in the auto industry.
DCH Millburn Audi in New Jersey has spent the last several years perfecting the sales-to-F&I handoff. The strategy has not only improved the sales process for the customer, but also increased the store's F&I profit.
In 2009, a Facebook group was launched to help educate F&I managers on ethics and compliance. The intention to build an online community of experts, educators and comrades was a way to reach those in need of guidance without charging a fee.
Many dealers leave nothing to chance with ethics. Internal training, external audits and promoting from within as often as possible are the top tactics used to prevent compliance and ethical land mines.
As new-vehicle margins continue to melt away, structuring a pay plan that rewards the F&I department but still ensures the job is done ethically and legally is one of dealers' greatest challenges, auto retail experts said.