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F&I culture key to dealer success

Creating an F&I culture where business managers are an integral part of the team is key to business success, according to Drive Motor Retail managing director Paul Manning.

Consistently one of the top F&I performers in the Vauxhall network for the past nine years since the group was first established following a management buyout of nine Arriva Vauxhall dealerships, one Kawasaki dealership and its trade and retail accessories division in 2003, Drive Motor Retail currently enjoys exceptionally high F&I penetration levels.

Since Vauxhall launched its 0% finance plan, finance penetration for new cars has risen dramatically to around 80% while used is still an impressive 37%, in fact, the manufacturer promotion has enabled the group to improve its margins to more than £400 per unit GAP and paint and protection products are given equal focus with penetration levels at around 40%.

Speaking at AM’s forthcoming Hit for Six Conference, which takes place at the Quadrangle Conference Centre, Oxford, on November 13, Manning will share his top tips for excellent F&I results.

Manning, however, believes it all starts with an F&I culture and as such Drive Motor Retail group places their business managers at the heart of their operation. They are on a different pay structure and undertake on-going training as well as playing an integral role in the sales teams.

Manning said: “We really cherish our F&I team and look after them but we also passionately believe in the products we sell.”

So much so, that Manning persuades family and friends who purchase cars from the group to buy their F&I products as well as signing up to them himself for any private purchases he makes.

Arguably, Drive Motor Retail’s vibrant F&I culture relates directly to Manning’s background – he started in the motor finance industry working for Ford Credit in 1978 for 10 years in a variety of roles before moving to Ford Motor Group and then into retail.

As part of his presentation, Manning will explore the relationships with finance providers and explain that rates are just a small element of the decision-making process with support and training being high on the ‘tick list’.

Manning will also highlight the F&I products the group chooses to market and the rationale for the choice as well as explaining the reasons behind not selecting certain products.

Hit for Six is AM’s new conference which explores six fundamental areas - new cars, used cars, aftersales, F&I, the digital arena and profit, bringing together experts and dealer case studies to enable delegates to gain valuable insight and tangible solutions under one roof in one day.

More information and details of how to book are available at


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