Finance and insurance (F&I) program provider Protective Asset Protection revealed its latest survey results showing the pandemic’s impact on product sales in the dealership and online.
The company commissioned the survey during March, taking responses from nearly 500 American dealership and F&I executives. The feedback showed a 5% to 10% increase in F&I product sales this year compared with 2020.
“With a greater emphasis on digital retailing, online shopping, used vehicle and EV/hybrid product sales, a larger number of dealers are looking for ways to maximize their opportunities in offering F&I products that cater to these shopper needs,” said Rick Kurtz, Protective’s senior VP of distribution.
The pandemic created an opportunity for dealers and their F&I departments to offer more digital tools, the company stated. Consumers researched and selected new vehicle products online.
The company’s survey also highlighted digital retailing’s growing necessity with a spike in used vehicle demand. To improve F&I product sales, 37% of respondents said offering used vehicle-focused products would be most impactful.
“Expanded F&I product lineups, customized product offerings and additional F&I product education for both the dealer and their customers are all growing in importance for today’s transaction environment,” Kurtz said.
Protective Asset Protection stated 45% of dealers now make F&I offering information available online, followed by 35% providing financing options and loan applications virtually and 33% offering digital accessibility of F&I product selection and pricing.
Other survey findings included 44% of respondents citing an ability to adjust products to fit a customer’s needs as the “most needed” to sell online F&I products. In the same realm, 41% found importance in the ability for customers to choose between product and coverage options, following by 38% of dealers hyping online tools, such as videos that explain benefits.
Regarding sales growth, 42% of dealers said increased coverage for existing protection products, such as Vehicle Service Contracts, would be most impactful. Offering a more diverse set of products was touted by 41% of dealers.
Compared with product sales pre-pandemic, 38% of dealers said selling F&I offerings with increased transaction prices represents the biggest opportunity for growth today. Longer loan terms were cited by 37% of respondents, followed by 36% who said more electric vehicle and plugin sales hold the biggest opportunities.
Protective Asset Protection provides vehicle protection plans, warranty programs, ancillary products and more to RV, marine, auto and powersports dealers.