Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Percentage of Negative Equity Trades Lowest in Three Years

That's not what I've been seeing lately. From most of the deals this month, pepole are more killed in their trades than ever. Anyway, life goes on. Next.

F&I e-weekly

The percentage of negative equity for the first quarter of 2008 is the lowest it has been in this period for the past three years, according to the Power Information Network (PIN).

The drop in upside down trades to 29 percent comes after a downward trend for several calendar quarters.

The report, released March 7, said that despite the drop in upside down trades, those consumers that do trade with negative equity owe more than in the past. “So far in the first quarter of this year, the average negative equity amount has been $3,930, up from $3,587 three years ago,” the report said.

The report suggested these trends could be due to consumers with modest negative equity on their vehicles refraining from trading those vehicles in, and those that are the most upside down continuing the trade-in trend.

Let's hope the trend continues downward.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Dealership employee pleads not guilty in unusual embezzlement scheme

GM dealer’s account used to buy snow removal equipment

Tim Donovan, a former employee of a General Motors dealership in Greenfield, Massachusetts, has plead not guilty to charges that he allegedly ordered a number of sand spreaders and snow plows through the dealerships parts account. Mr. Donovan is accused of selling the equipment to third parties and keeping the proceeds, according to a report in the Brattleboro Reformer.

The alleged embezzlements took place over roughly two months in 2006.

According to an affidavit from the Vermont State Police, Mr. Donovan admitted to ordering two Fisher sand spreaders and one Boss snow plow and selling them at greatly reduced prices, keeping the profit. After confessing to this aspect of the crime, he denied doing the same thing with two more snow plows

In total, all five items cost roughly $25,000. The police assert that he resold them for a total profit of roughly $12,400.

The dealership’s insurance premium was increased by $5,000 a year as a direct result of the theft.

According to the State Police affidavit, Mr. Donovan told his boss when confronted that he was selling the products "on the side for cash money to fuel his cocaine addiction."

Great, another fine example of people in the car business.


Link to original source


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dealership employee at center of $1 million car theft ring

Three men charged in sophisticated theft and resale scheme that officials say netted $1M

Three Detroit men face more than 500 felony charges on claims they netted more than $1 million in a sophisticated scheme to steal cars from the streets, alter vehicle identification plates and resell them, according to a Detroit News report.

The scheme involved an insider at a Detroit area General Motors dealership who made keys to match the VINs, which were visible through the windshields of cars that prosecutors allege the thieves scouted in advance.

Almost 120 cars were then easy to steal, using the keys to unlock them and drive away. Prosecutors called the operation one of the biggest and slickest they had ever seen. Meanwhile, the ring purchased similar, junked cars whose vehicle identification plates were swapped into the stolen vehicles.

The trio is alleged to have gone to auto auctions and circulated fliers in Detroit neighborhoods advertising cash for junked GM vehicles.

The model, year and even color of cars targeted for theft sometimes were based on inexpensive cars the alleged thieves had purchased. Sometimes the trio went shopping for cheap junkers to match something they had stolen.

The dealership employee, whom police declined to identify, has already been convicted of charges brought in 2006 stemming from an investigation conducted by a county auto theft taskforce and General Motors.

Fewer than 20 vehicles have been recovered so far in the 16-month investigation that culminated when charges were filed against the three.



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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS - with a twist


Friday, March 7, 2008

Yes I am going to have to trade my Infiniti FX35

Not trying to give Infiniti a plug (as they are not paying me), and because recently I posted some very cool spy pics of the 2009 Infiniti FX on this site, I must make this announcement:

Infiniti has just released a photo slideshow this morning of the 2009 FX on the Infiniti website.

The real thing is even more wicked than the spy pics. The FX50 is going to be a BEAST !!! - check it out:

Link to Infiniti.com 2009 FX slideshow

*** Attention Infiniti Marketing: ***

You really should consider putting a small (or large) ad on this site.

I own an Infiniti Fx35 which was purchased new (and you know your main purpose is to move new vehicles off the lot's of the franchised Infiniti dealers).

The fact that I personally am an owner has to mean something even if the prospect of being able to show advertising to the many visitors of this progressive and cutting edge blog isn't enough.

You know that spending Infiniti's promotional dollars on any of AFI's websites is the wisest use of each one of those dollars.

Email so we can work something out: Autofinanceinsider@yahoo.com. For showing this level of creativity, you could get a promotion.

We then will as a joint venture, shout Infiniti's praises from the heavens. Hoorah.

I am serious.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

6 Things F&I Managers Need to Stop (Or Start) Doing

This is a great article I found in Feb's F&I Magazine. The enhancements are mine.

6 Things F&I Managers Need to Stop (Or Start) Doing
By Ron Reahard

All of us seek role models, and we expect our role models’ lives to be an example of what they speak. Like it or not, co-workers and customers will believe what you do long before (and long after) they will believe what you say.

Too often people who call themselves “managers” will say one thing, but do another. Leaders lead by example. They believe in what they say, they live what they believe and they become successful because their actions clearly demonstrate their values.

Like it or not, we’re all role models. As an F&I manager, your sales force will quickly determine whether you truly believe in your products, or whether you’re just trying to squeeze extra money out of customers.

Being an F&I professional requires that you possess the qualities of someone worthy to be a role model: a positive attitude, a commitment to your craft and a genuine belief in your products. You can always tell you’re in the presence of an F&I professional by the way he or she treats every customer, as well as every co-worker. His or her primary goal in every interaction is to help the other person, not just themselves.

F&I professionals never brag about how much money they made on someone. F&I professionals know that when your focus is on helping customers, you don’t have to worry about making money; you’ll make more than you ever thought possible. To be an F&I professional, there are six things you need to stop (or start) doing, because whether you like it or not, you’re a role model.

1.STOP Disparaging Your Products

It’s amazing how many times I still hear F&I managers describe credit insurance as “choke and croak,” environmental protection as “mop and glow,” and theft deterrent products as “etch-a-sketch.” Denigrating your own products to anyone tells everyone you really don’t believe in them.

Remember, every F&I product we offer has real value for the customer. F&I professionals can reinforce this belief by telling the customer, “At this dealership we only offer F&I products we believe in.” You must demonstrate your belief in F&I products daily. It’s easy to tell whether or not an F&I manager really believes in his or her products. He or she buys them — all of them! If you don’t buy all of the products you sell, you’re telling every salesperson in the dealership you don’t believe in them.


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