January is a natural time to reflect upon what we’ve completed, and what lies ahead. 2015 was another banner year in the automotive industry as a whole, as well as in the greater world of F&I, and at RoadVantage in particular. New vehicle sales rose to a new high, and F&I continues to be a key profit center. RoadVantage has also maintained our trajectory as the fastest-growing F&I provider in the industry.

We experienced a 260{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} increase in sales volume year-over-year, following a 200{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} increase the previous year. And, with this rapid growth in mind, I’m proud to say that RoadVantage still meets our operational standard of 97{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} of our claims approved within 8 minutes, thanks to scalable infrastructure and a great, hard-working team who share my passion to provide the ultimate customer experience.

As we reflect upon another incredible year, we’re excited about what we see on the horizon for 2016.

The trends we’re watching include:

  1. The Economy. While signs point to the rate of growth slowing in 2016, the overall U.S. economy will continue to expand. For the automotive market, specifically, 2015 was a record year for new vehicle sales, and we believe factory incentives will continue to keep volume high into 2016.
  2. Leasing. One of the biggest trends we are watching right now is the expansion of the leasing market. This segment continues to grow at a fairly rapid pace — expert predictions put it, on average, at about 30{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} of the market next year — and the need for F&I products geared toward the customer will only continue to increase.
  3. Consolidation. The last few years have seen a steady stream of consolidations across all sectors of the automotive industry, and we don’t see that letting up any time soon. We do believe there is a shift toward more private equity acquisitions, and that is a trend we see continuing.
  4. Products. Bundles will continue to dominate the F&I menu in 2016. F&I departments are looking for value-added products to further increase F&I revenues. We’ve experienced this first hand: RoadVantage’s Preferred multi-option bundle became a best seller shortly after introduction.
  5. Transparency. Consumers have made it increasingly clear that they want to know, up front, exactly what they are getting, with no surprises. That push will continue to impact our industry into 2016 and beyond. Products with a very clear and up-front value proposition will continue to gain traction, and marketing methods and materials will need to mirror that. Technology will play a role in fostering transparency, too, helping make F&I menus easier to follow and bringing information to consumers both in the dealership as well as online, where they increasingly shop.
  6. Online Access. In 2016, we’ll see more dealerships making F&I information available on their websites for consumers to research before setting foot in the store. As technology continues to play a bigger role in consumers’ lives, we believe the pressure to move in that direction will increase, and dealers, agents and providers will continue to find ways to work together to better provide information in a way that bolsters the F&I managers and their role in the process. Expect discussions about the best ways to communicate the value proposition of these products online.
  7. Technology. The Internet isn’t the only piece of technology that will continue to impact the F&I office in the coming year. eContracting, in particular, will continue to gain traction as more consumers across more demographics become comfortable with paperless transactions in their everyday lives, and as dealerships realize the improvements in efficiency and accuracy that come with eContracting.

2016 is going to be another exciting year for RoadVantage, for the greater F&I market and for the automotive industry as a whole. We can’t wait to watch the year unfold.

This post was written by: Garret Lacour, CEO RoadVantage

Published: January 20, 2016

Original Source: http://roadvantage.com/2016/01/20/whats-next/