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Q4 sees diverse dealership F&I revenue fluctuations.

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TLDR:

  • Retailers’ finance and insurance (F&I) revenue varied in the fourth quarter, with revenue falling at Asbury Automotive and Sonic Automotive and increasing at Lithia Motors and Penske Automotive.
  • Meanwhile, floorplan interest expense increased at every major retailer due to higher supply and interest rates.

Retailers’ finance and insurance (F&I) revenue was mixed in the fourth quarter of 2023, with some experiencing a decrease in revenue while others saw an increase. The increase in interest rates and supply affected the floorplan interest expense at every major retailer.

 

Asbury Automotive and Sonic Automotive reported a decline in F&I revenue during the quarter. Asbury cited lower vehicle sales, particularly in December. Sonic Automotive’s F&I revenue was impacted by a decrease in the number of vehicles sold and a decline in average gross profit per vehicle.

On the other hand, Lithia Motors and Penske Automotive reported an increase in F&I revenue. Lithia Motors saw a 12% increase in F&I gross profit per unit as well as an increase in F&I profit per vehicle. Penske Automotive’s F&I revenue increase was driven by improvements in average F&I revenue per vehicle sold.

This mixed performance in F&I revenue is attributed to various factors, such as economic conditions, consumer demand, and interest rates. The higher interest rates led to an increase in floorplan interest expense for all major retailers.

The supply of vehicles also played a role in the fluctuation of F&I revenue. Increasing supply, particularly in the fourth quarter, put pressure on retailers to sell vehicles and generate revenue from F&I products.

Despite the variation in F&I revenue, analysts remain optimistic about the future of dealership F&I operations. The demand for vehicles is expected to continue, and dealerships are implementing strategies to improve F&I performance, such as offering more F&I products and optimizing the sales process.

  

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