The company, which has 41 dealerships primarily bunched around South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Home Counties and Kent, and represents 16 manufacturers including Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Jaguar has employed business managers in its showrooms since 1990. "Where volume business is concerned we find they certainly earn their keep," says Ray Summerville, Perrys managing director.
"In a small business with limited volume, though, it is marginal."
David Johnson, Perry’s group F&I manager, considers this threshold to be 500 units a year.
"It would be foolish not to run with a business manager at this level, but it can vary slightly depending on how readily the cars lend themselves to finance. Land Rovers would work at a lower volume because of their higher profitability," he says.
Johnson estimates a good business manager is worth between £100 and £300 per deal. That is an average of £100,000 gross profit a year on 500 units. But he believes there are other benefits to having a business manager.
"The sale of a car is a protracted negotiation process. There is a tendency for a sales person to enter a fatigue where they are wary of offering anything else in case it compromises the whole deal. A business manager can be like introducing a fresh bowler," says Johnson.
With the new FSA legislation coming into place this month Johnson believes it is important to have a key person dealing with F&I.
"Having an expert in finance in the business selling the products properly, or supporting the sales staff to sell them properly, will also reduce the level of buyer remorse," he says.