All six public new-vehicle dealership groups improved average F&I gross profit per unit in the first quarter, with AutoNation Inc. setting another record high. F&I training and an increase in product sales drove the overall lift, most of the retailers said.
AutoNation, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., led the group with a record F&I gross profit per unit of $1,779 on a same-store basis, an 8.1 percent, or $134, rise over the year earlier.
The other five dealership groups also boosted same-store F&I profit per unit:
- Group 1 Automotive Inc., of Houston, rose $83 at its U.S. dealerships.
- Asbury Automotive Group Inc., of Duluth, Ga., rose $44.
- Sonic Automotive Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., rose $58.
- Lithia Motors Inc., of Medford, Ore., rose $71.
- Penske Automotive Group Inc., of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., rose $113.
AutoNation-branded product sales helped lift AutoNation’s F&I profit per vehicle, CEO Mike Jackson said.
“We specifically have designed them knowing what consumers want,” he said during a call with analysts this month. “We have priced them very attractively for consumers, and we have a higher percentage of consumers choosing those products than a year ago.”
Product penetration improvements and training underperforming stores pushed Group 1’s F&I profit per unit growth. Pete DeLongchamps, senior vice president of manufacturer relations, financial services and public affairs, said the work of the F&I teams in all three countries where Group 1 does business — the U.S., U.K. and Brazil — bolstered profits.
“At the end of the day, we keep working on the underperforming stores, and it’s paid dividends. And, we’re doing a much better job of selling products,” DeLongchamps said last month.