Buying a car will never be the same

Gonna be tough to up sell the nonsense if you’re not held hostage in the finance mgr office


“AutoNation, according to Jackson, has not experienced any declines in profitability from sales conducted online versus those in a traditional showroom.”

I smell BS, F&I is such a large profit driver for any dealership. There’s no way they haven’t seen a decrease in profitability using online tools.


Unless they make enough extra front end gross since the layperson is less likely to haggle a good deal when buying online.


I thought they were all against the online model a la tesla


The Tesla model is broken so I can see why.

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I will say that some of my previous old-school coworkers who have been doing this since I have been born have washed up. Many struggle to adjust to doing things differently.


Absolutely. I just finished up leasing a 2020 BMW X1 and did spend 15 minutes in F&I but the pressure was nothing compared to a couple of years ago. They’re happy to just move cars.

I just leased a car and they refused to deliver it. I had to go in with everyone wearing face masks. The only reason for it was to get the hard sale from the finance guy. It was one of the most persistent pitches with the most BS I have ever heard. Once he realized I wasn’t buying anything I was out of there in 5 minutes. Nothing is going to change. In 6 months when this is all a memory things will go right back to normal.

I know for a fact it’s BS. I worked at AutoNation corporate headquarters for two years and still have many friends there. They are hurting. F&I accounts for 40% of their revenue.

Jackson is the old guard he hates digital and thinks the only way to profit to do the hard pitch at the dealers. All of the sales leadership there feel the same way. There is a reason their new CEO Carl only lasted 3 months. He led a digital transformation at his last company.


They may lose $ with in-person F&I, but they will still huck it over the phone, online, etc.

Even if there is a downward trend there with F&I, profit will get baked back into the price you pay on the unit somehow anyway. Where there is a will, there is a way.


More like approx. 10% of revenue and 20% of gross profit


The longer this goes on, the less likely dealers are to be able to put the genie back in the bottle. I’d agree that if this was a memory in six months not much would change. However, our views on science and medicine differ. Do you think if some version of this goes on till mid 2021 they will still be able to revert back to the January 2020 model?

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I’m saying I just bought a car last week and they made me come to the dealer to get it. Why would 6 months from now be different.

You are correct I was referring to gross profit not revenue and according to this article it’s 30%

Any bets that buying a car will be exactly the same as it was before, in about four months?

These stories are so dumb.

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A certain phrase must be proving effective at getting people to click a link.

And on and on and on and on and on.


I will never be the same again after reading that.


Looks like we just learned some clickbait 101


Is there anything about sex?


That will never be the same, either.

The end.

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Good point. Car buying is a heavily regulated industry and the franchise system has been amazingly resistant to change over the previous two decades when so much else has changed in retail (see Bezos, Amazon).
It may not be a six months (or 18 months) question. Dealers are likely already realizing the online model isn’t going to work long-term. They need the power dynamic of you being in a dealership, the ability to push people on a sale without giving them the time to really think over the payments, the sunk cost of you spending three hours in dealership negotiating and lastly the ability to do the F&I sale dance.

As an aside, the Spanish flu killed the equivalent of 2 million Americans adjusted for 2020 population and it is was mostly forgotten within 20-30 years. Humans want to forgot very bad things that are beyond our ability to comprehend. Many will try to turn back the clock to January 2020 whenever an effective vaccine is rolled out.