CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Protective Asset Protection, a provider of F&I programs and services today announced the release of its first annual F&I Trends Report, an in-depth look at the trends shaping F&I products; how auto dealerships are using F&I products in 2019; and the outlook of F&I products heading into 2020. Click here to download the full report.

This report, a first for the automotive industry, breaks down each of these factors and addresses each area while offering an insightful outlook into the prospects of growing F&I product sales in the coming year.

The report is designed to specifically address the current landscape of F&I products in the marketplace, and to provide an overall view of how these products are performing for dealers across the U.S. The report also addresses specific market challenges and opportunities, feedback from dealers across the U.S., F&I product growth opportunities as well as the outlook for various dealer participation program structures.

In addition to specific F&I product trends, the report also addresses several other key issues impacting dealerships, including regulation of foreign trade and tariffs; mergers and acquisitions; tax laws and participation program impact; F&I product opportunities in electrified vehicles; ancillary product trends; and a shift in consumer preferences to pre-owned.

The report also addresses key trends in GAP and Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) claims trends over the last five years. In fact, the average GAP claim payout has risen 19.5% between 2014 and 2018 for new vehicles, and a 95% increase over the same time for used vehicles1. New vehicles have averaged a 4.7% increase each year during that time, and an 18.5% per year increase for used vehicles.

Regarding the profitability outlook for dealers and F&I products, the report states that given the slight decrease in overall total vehicle sales, 38% of dealers have said their F&I product sales have also been trending down in 2019 between 5% - 10%. However, as a bright spot, half of dealers said their 2019 F&I product sales are either up more than 10% or have remained unchanged from the prior year.

What’s more, the shift to selling more used vehicles is being reported as the largest challenge (43.7%) in selling F&I products. As a result, dealers are continually educating themselves on the right F&I products that benefi­t used car shoppers. Another 42.3% of dealers say their continued focus on selling trucks instead of cars also represents a challenge for fi­nding the right F&I products for customers, followed by longer loan terms (34.2%).

Lastly, the report looks at the impact the growth of digital retailing has on the F&I process. A large number of consumers today want the chance to research, shop and even transact online, but many still feel confused about F&I options even before they step into the dealership. The report offers insight into smoothing this process, with actionable steps dealers can take to educate their customers online about F&I products ahead of time.

“There are a number of critical factors today impacting a dealer’s ability to successfully offer the right F&I products for each car shopper,” said Rick Kurtz, senior vice president of distribution. “This report, a first for the automotive industry, breaks down each of these factors and addresses each area while offering an insightful outlook into the prospects of growing F&I product sales in the coming year.”

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