To accommodate their growth, our proven partner, Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS) is moving their office. IAS will close on Friday, November 22, in order to move and set up at their new facility. IAS will reopen on Monday, November 25, resuming business as usual. Please forward all business, correspondence and payments to the new IAS address:
10800 Pecan Park Blvd., Suite 410
Austin, Texas 78750
Congratulations, IAS, on your success!
For the first half of 2013, CNA National has paid automobile dealers in participation plans nearly $8.5 million.
That’s right, $8.5 million.
If you are an automobile dealer in the United States and haven’t benefited from a dealer participation plan, you are leaving money on the table.
You don’t need to be a high volume dealer to qualify; you just need to sell ten service contracts. Yes, ten and you are already doing that.
If you’re only profit center on a service contract is the initial sale, then you are missing the other three and forfeiting your part of $8.5 million.
Contact us at (602) 395-5555 or email us and discover “The Truth about Participation” and how you can participate by doing the exact same thing your finance department is already doing.
One of the enhancements made to CNA National’s Preferred Tire Care in 2012 was the expansion of vehicle eligibility from 150,000 miles on the odometer to 200,000 miles.
“Because consumers are keeping their vehicles longer than ever before, increasing eligibility mileage for tire-and-wheel coverage by an additional 25 percent allows us to meet market demand and increase sales,” says Randy Rife, vice president of sales administration for CNA National.
The additional benefit of optional “Plus” coverage for cosmetic and curb damage has also been a popular selling tool for dealerships.
For more information about CNA National PTC12, contact us by phone at (602) 395-5555 or via email.
Online cancellations for all ADS products are available through the ADS dealer portal (DAP). Quotes and cancellations are printable, immediate and require no submission of documentation. You will need a user name and password to use DAP.
If you currently use Allstate Dealer Services’ website, your current username and password will work. If you do not have a user name and password, please email DID to request one. For new users of the dealer portal, ADS will email a link to you; simply click the link to set your password and gain access to DAP.
If you have been signed up to use DAP, you must submit cancellations online. If you submit them via fax, ADS will send you a notice stating that you must re-do the cancellation through the dealer portal.
When you get your user name and password, use this DAP link allows users to avoid the ADS website.
Please call (602) 395-5555 or email us with any questions.
We all make mistakes. Sometimes a customer gets out of the finance office with the wrong term or deductible on the service contract we sold them.
Not to worry. These mistakes are easy corrections. In most cases, all that is needed is a letter on dealership letterhead, with the contract number, customer name and a brief explanation of the problem.
As long as the coverage, term and deductible aren’t being “lowered”, i.e., the coverage, term and deductible remain the same or better, then there is no need to inconvenience the customer. The customer will be notified via an endorsement from the administrator listing the details of the contract.
In the event there is an additional cost, just attach a check for the difference of how much already submitted and the cost of what the contract would have been. If the correction letter makes its way to the administrator without funding, the balance due will be listed as a debit on the dealer statement.
For more information on contract corrections or if you need a correction letter drafted, please contact us.
What happens if a customer that has a vehicle service contract goes in for a claim related to the drive shaft or suspension and the claim is denied because of a modification?
First off, a contract is still valid with a modification, provided the custom suspension surcharge is marked on the contract and provided the modification is within guidelines.
Specifically, vehicles can be lifted a maximum of four inches, not lowered more than two inches and the tire size cannot exceed three sizes of the manufacturer’s specifications.
Secondly, if the modification falls outside of these guidelines, (for example, the lift is six inches) it doesn’t mean that the entire contract is void. It does mean that any claims caused by the modification will be denied.
What if the customer has an air conditioning problem? The a/c has nothing do with the lift so, not a modification issue, therefore the claim is covered.
For more information about modifications or contract specifics, please feel free to contact us.
You eat first with your eyes, then your stomach, at least that’s what Food Network tells me. A similar theory is true for car buyers, you with your eyes first and then with your money, meaning that we love that new car look and smell. That’s why the latest and greatest models, i.e., the most attractive, are on the showroom floor.
Fortunately, there is a product to keep that new car look as beautiful as the day it was purchased. Environmental Protection. Unfortunately, when customers hear these two words they automatically assume that the dealership is simply throwing on a layer of Turtle Wax and spraying some Armor All on the tires. Clearly, that’s not the case.
Since it’s 2013, and cars have become so technologically advanced, car buyers often think factory auto paint lasts forever and that keeping that showroom appearance is as simple as running the car through the car wash once in a while. While there have been advancements with paint and the process in which they are applied, manufacturers only apply a thin layer of clear coat over the paint finish which means the paint is still susceptible to scratching and discoloration. The only way to maintain that brilliant shine and to avoid those pesky water spots as well as grime and rust is with an Environmental Protection Plan.
Today’s exterior protection products are chemically engineered to molecularly become part of the car’s finish. That basically means that the car has a paint force field, if you will. Acid rain, bird droppings, tree sap and ultraviolet rays cannot penetrate the finish when these products are applied properly.
Interior protection products are just as remarkable. Fabric and carpet protectors of today form a micro-polymer barrier around each individual fiber. When these products are applied properly, spills and soils just sit on top and can easily be wiped away. What parent or coffee drinker would think that’s a bad idea?
No matter what the infomercials say, consumers have no products available to them except through the dealership to keep that showroom look. Knowing how chemically engineered to the molecular level these products are, why would anyone want to use a wax type product on a new vehicle to have it erode away in six weeks only to have to do it over and over? By the way, it’s still not going to look as good as it did the day you bought it. Why? Because while some wax pockets erode away, others don’t and that leaves open spots which eventually break through the paint finish and damage it. As far as the exterior is concerned, it’s kind of like painting a wall in your house without patching the holes first. With the interior, it would be the equivalent of having new carpet installed and then wearing your muddy shoes in the house. Makes no sense.
If any of you are Costco members, like I am, then you probably get their monthly magazine, The Costco Connection. In the last month’s issue, there is a full-page ad with the intent of selling vehicle service contracts. Costco sells everything, I guess, so why not service contracts too?
Have you ever walked into a Costco and seen a transmission or an engine lying about? You won’t because Costco’s specialty is consumer goods, like vacuum cleaners, mattresses, toilet tissue, medicines and food products. To my knowledge, Costco doesn’t have a single dealership in existence or a service department for that matter. The only services provided for automobiles are those similar to Discount Tire – for tires only. So why would a consumer buy a vehicle service contract from anyone other than an organization that specializes in vehicles? It’s kind of like showing up to a gunfight with a knife.
Who at the local Costco is going to intercede on the behalf of the customer in the unfortunate event a mechanical failure arises? Who at the local Costco will make sure the vehicle repaired properly? Who at the local Costco will make repair and rental car arrangements? Who at the local Costco will explain, in layman’s terms, what the vehicle service contract covers and when? Short answer: Nobody.
Vehicle service contracts were and are designed for dealerships. Dealerships handle all aspects of the service contract, not just the sale. The dealership intercedes on the customer’s behalf if a mechanical failure arises. The dealership will make sure the vehicle is repaired properly. The dealership will make repair and rental car arrangements for the customer. The dealership has multiple people that can explain, in layman’s terms, what the vehicle service contract covers and when.
I am a fan of Costco. They have some great benefits for their members, but vehicle service contracts? Really?
An F&I professional’s performance is based on selling products and increasing dealership profit. A common question often asked by professionals in finance departments is, “what products should I be selling”? George Angus, founder and president of Team One Group, says that what your selling isn’t as important as how many products you present. According to Team One Group’s examination of the products that create top performance, there is no perfect or secret blend of products, so how can you do it too?
Offer at least four or five products. Some F&I departments just don’t have enough products to present and even if they do all of them aren’t presented; therefore, profit is lost.
View all of your products as equal income sources. Focusing on finance reserve, service contracts or GAP limits your income possibilities. If you focus equally on all products you offer, your sales will increase in other areas as well, thereby lowering your chargebacks.
Utilize a menu system that effectively and automatically presents all the products equally. The result with most menus is that F&I managers end up selling service contracts and maybe another product which can lead to dependence on finance reserve to provide additional income.
The four-column menu is an industry standard, but let’s be honest, it’s often times cumbersome to present every detail in every column, which results in the focus being narrowed to one product, usually service contracts. To get the best results, you need a menu method that improves penetrations of all products. If your menu doesn’t allow you to present products equally and adjust payments to the customer’s responses, then perhaps it’s not the right menu. If you want a plan that consistently outperforms the industry standard call DID at (602) 395-5555 or visit our website.
The FTC has enforced a number of new laws that directly apply to the automobile industry. F&I departments across the country are worried about being in compliance with the new laws and want to make sure their departments understand every new regulation.
While it is important to stay within the FTC’s regulations, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. For example:
- Some F&I Menus are more compliant than others. When it comes to menus, there are no rules. Therefore, stating that one menu is more compliant than another menu is just plain false. The only regulation that applies to the menu is the Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights, applicable to dealerships located in California, which says F&I departments must provide an itemized list of financed items.
- F&I menus must disclose specific facts. There are no requirements regarding disclosure on an F&I menu as it is nothing more than a sales tool. Other methods should be used to ensure that the F&I department is in compliance with disclosure regulations.
- A menu is required to remain in compliance. Again, menus are a sale tools, albeit a beneficial one and Dealership Income Development highly recommends them, but there is no rule that one must be used and menus don’t act as proof of compliancy with FTC rules and regulations.
- Base payment must be disclosed on every menu. There is no requirement that base payment be included on a menu. Disclosing the base payment on a menu has nothing to do, as far as the FTC is concerned, with payment packing regulations. In order to be compliant, it is only important that the base payment be disclosed in the sales process, which is usually done with the sales department.
So how do you make sure your dealership is compliant and avoid the attention of the FTC? It’s not as complicated as you think. Let us help you avoid incidences of non-compliance. Please call Dealership Income Development at (602) 395-5555 or visit us online to learn more.