J.D. Power says brand recognition will make its new suite of F&I products stand out despite a crowded market.
The company launched the suite last month at 10 dealerships in the Southeast. Offerings include extended service contracts, GAP, tire-and-wheel protection, windshield protection, dent-and-ding protection, theft coverage, key protection and more.
"Our thought has always been that we would roll the program out with those dealers, ensure they have a good experience and expand further next year," Chris Sutton, vice president of J.D. Power's U.S. automotive retail practice, told Automotive News. The products will be sold only through new-vehicle retailers, he said.
F&I is an essential area for dealership profitability, Sutton said. "We felt that if we combined the strength of the J.D. Power name from a consumer perspective with the importance from a dealer standpoint, it could be an area where we could really offer the dealers a helpful service."
So far, the new product offering has paid off for dealerships that have signed on.
At Jason Pilger Hyundai in Gautier, Miss., F&I product penetration has increased about 30 percent in only three weeks, said Jason Pilger, dealer principal.
"When you explain it's J.D. Power, it's so easy for [customers] to sign up," he said. "The name is super strong. It gives the consumer confidence."