Global market research company JD Power has made the jump into the automotive F&I realm. This comes on the heels of last September’s test launch into the market, during which they took on 10 stores. That pilot program ended in December.
While some might wonder why the firm would enter the F&I space, to JD Power it makes perfect sense. Chris Sutton, the company’s vice president of U.S. automotive retail practice was quoted as saying the following in an article that appeared in Auto Dealer Today: “The finance and insurance market is fragmented and is often perceived negatively by consumers. JD Power has an obligation to stand up for the consumer in everything we do. These products carry our name because the terms and conditions have been adjusted, as well as the selling process. Customer satisfaction, both immediate and long-term, is the goal.”
The program will be called JD Power Automotive Protection Products and the products are specifically for new-car buyers. They are already being sold at nearly 25 dealerships (nine different brands) and the company is licensed to offer them in all 50 states.
Among the products/services being offered are extended service contracts, tire and wheel protection, GAP insurance, key replacement, dent and ding protection, paint and fabric protection, high-tech coverage and windshield protection.
“The confidence inspired by our brand is something we believe will help lead new-car dealers to more sales of these important products and more satisfaction with the dealer-customer relationship in the long term,” Sutton explained. “This will result in a win-win for consumers buying new cars and for dealerships selling these products.”
A Crowded F&I Realm
In what is undoubtedly a market occupied by many different companies, JD Power is counting heavily upon its reputation as a company whose purpose is looking out for the best interests of the consumer to attract F&I business. The initial reaction of dealers participating in the pilot program seemed positive and they expect that momentum to continue.
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