The Past, Present and Future of F&I

The finance and insurance industry offers incredible potential for professionals who want to find steady employment with great salary potential. With room to grow and one of the highest salaries within the trade sector, it is no wonder that this field appeals to many.

Car sales, like many retail industries, are impacted by a number of various factors, including the state of the economy. Projections indicate, however, that the industry as a whole continues to be strong and provides a strong employment outlook for those willing to work through a rigorous training course.

The F&I Industry in the Past

Car buying just a few years ago was drastically different from today. To begin, the recession saw a number of major car brands — including Ford– take a big hit in their sales numbers.

Customers themselves were also regularly at a disadvantage. Without the benefit of the internet at their fingertips, they did not have as much flexibility as they do today in regard to researching financing options as well as the make and model of the car they wanted. Customers instead had to do their research at home, writing down what they remembered, and doing their best to buy cars without all the information in front of them. This resulted in customers who ended up buying cars that did not really suit their needs.

The F&I Industry Now

Over the past few years, we have seen strong numbers in car sales. The years 2015 to 2018 saw over 17 million in light vehicle sales, which created excellent job potential. Projections from The Center for Automotive Research also indicates that car sales will rise over the next few years, making now a great time for new professionals to get involved in the industry.

Customer perspectives have also changed. Customers now have access to information about different cars and financing options at their fingertips, often even while they are speaking with F&I professionals. This forces those in the field to be on their toes. They have to understand how to construct deals that appeal to customers while still providing value for the dealership.

In essence, the job of F&I professionals has certainly gotten harder over the past few years — customers are better educated and armed with information about financing alternatives. On the other hand, the F&I professionals who have been well-trained and understand how to provide value for customers and create deals that appeal to all parties have become even more valuable for dealerships. Moving forward, those interested in the F&I field will not want to cut corners when it comes time to learn the trade and prepare for the industry. The professionals who stand out will be the ones who have a strong educational background.

The F&I Industry in the Future

As the F&I industry moves forward, professionals will only have to contend even more with customers who have educated themselves and come prepared to sales conversations. Additionally, technology will play an even larger role in finance on the side of car dealerships. Technology continues to mature, and not only does it provide customers with valuable insight, but now it also helps those interested in making sales.

The new F&I professional will want to make sure that they understand the latest technology in the field. They will want to train with these programs and see how they can use them to provide better deals for the customer.

The job of the F&I professional will be to provide value for the customer. Customers have all their options in front of them. It will be the job of the car dealership to help them fill in gaps in their understanding and then guide them to see how particular deals will provide them with the best possible value.

Preparing for the Future of the F&I Industry

As technology and innovation continue the march forward, professionals who work in car dealerships will need to compete with the information and the assurance of increasingly informed customers. This provides both benefits and drawbacks for dealerships. Customers will have more information about other potential financing options, giving the F&I professionals more objections they will need to overcome. At the same time, technology will make it easier for professionals to better understand the needs of customers and provide them with deals that emphasize value. They will also have customers who are better informed about the cars they want to buy, which paves the way for happier customers.

Those interested in pursuing this field will want to make sure they receive their training and education from a reputable institute. They will want to have a firm grasp of finance, constructing deals, working with customers, and the technology needed to excel in the field.

This level of training is only available from the Automotive Dealership Institute. With over three decades of experience training F&I professionals and the nation’s only accredited school, the Automotive Dealership Institute is uniquely situated to provide the highest caliber training. It is the only school capable of accepting GI Benefits, which makes it even easier for veterans looking for an excellent career opportunity that will help them transition to civilian life.

The Automotive Dealership Institute not only provides students with the highest level of training, but they also ensure that students know how to use the latest technology. Following graduation, they also provide support for those interested in finding a job across the country.

Those interested in the F&I Industry know that it is a growing field with the potential to provide excellent salaries. As the industry continues to evolve, the professionals who are prepared will set themselves up for success moving forward.

Contact the Automotive Dealership Institute today for more information on our online and in-person programs.