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VADA Pres. Don Hall discusses outcome of latest Tesla battle and the uptick in F&I profits

Today on CBT News, Don Hall, President and CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA), discusses recent headlines from EVs to F&I. Hall begins the conversation, by discussing recent approval for EV-maker Tesla, to open three new stores in Virginia. From previous discussions, Hall says, the association has fought Tesla for about five and a half years in the court and spent seven figures doing so, only to lose on a technicality.

While some car dealers wanted to object to Tesla coming to Virginia, Hall says the VADA won’t fight them in the courts or the legislature. However, car dealers will show their strength to Tesla when it comes to selling EVs. Hall goes on to add that the association aims to prove that the best way to sell EVs in the future, is through the dealer network.

Many dealers are facing challenges with hiring new, top-performing talent. Hall says that one of the biggest reasons for this, is because their benefit structures are often not up to par. If car dealers don’t treat their employees, as their single largest asset, then they are not going to work for you. Hall adds, we have an opportunity one more time to lead from the front. Car dealers need to be good or better at attracting young people into the business. If you are a dealer committed to this business, then ask yourself- what can we do to make our experience in hiring and treating people even better? 

A recent article in Automotive News reported that F&I profits soared at the largest U.S. dealership groups. While these findings signal strong growth for car dealers, Hall believes that lawyers or legislators might use the findings to further restrict F&I operations. He adds that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could potentially see large F&I profits as a reason to impose stricter standards. Hall elaborates that car dealers can’t prove that they have massive losses. So when you sell products, be sure to have complete disclosures, and explain the benefit and value to the customer.

Hall ends the conversation by saying that car dealers can benefit by networking and learning from pros in the industry. Associations like VADA are committed to being in your corner and can go out and fight on your behalf.

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CBT News
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