In a tough quarter for most dealerships in the southern U.S., two public retailers say they got a boost from F&I.
During the third quarter, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma forced many dealerships in the South to close, with some losing as much as two weeks of business. Public retailer Asbury Automotive Group estimated that it would have sold 1,000 more vehicles without the storms.
Asbury and Sonic Automotive both said Tuesday they lost revenue in the quarter. And much of the companies' commentary during earnings' calls centered on the negative impact of the storms. But both talked about a business line (in some retail departments, the only business line) that gave them strength: F&I.
In unpredictable and uncontrollable situations, F&I has become a profit center dealerships can count on.