What will F&I look like in the future? JM&A Group’s Scott Gunnell weighs in

Scott Gunnell is the new Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at JM&A Group where he has worked for 20 years to provide financing and insurance services to dealerships. The auto group also trains and educates dealers to better understand their options and consumer habits. To discuss his vision for the company, and what the future holds for dealers and consumers, host Jim Fitzpatrick sits down with Gunnell on today’s edition of Inside Automotive.

Gunnell begins by explaining he intends to focus on two areas in his new position. First, JM&A Group will continue to provide education and resources to dealerships to evolve with the industry and avoid falling behind on financing and insurance. Second, Gunnell wishes to examine the company’s operations and training to ensure they put their best foot forward in helping their dealership clients.

JM&A Group has changed in recent years to serve its clients better. While traditionally, the associates were required to both support their current clients and acquire new ones, doing both jobs in tandem created conflict. “We never wanted our current customers to feel as if we weren’t completely focused on their business,” explains Gunnell. The team has since been split between sales and service so that dealerships can feel assured they have complete access to the auto group’s resources.

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These shifts are necessary for the company, as Gunnell notes they constantly have to adjust to keep pace with the industry. “We understand the buying habits of consumers continue to evolve, and the dealers are really rallying to meet the consumers where they are in the process.” Car buyers now want more flexibility in the car buying process, including online access to financing and insurance. “When consumers are comfortable in the environment by which they want to purchase in, they will buy more products,” notes Gunnell. Dealers have all the incentives necessary to accommodate this shift, which is why JM&A Group now takes a wholesale approach to their services to be as inducive to change as possible.

Another shift in the market that Gunnell wishes to adapt to is the introduction of electric vehicles. New technology means new policies and products to ensure consumers and dealers have their bases covered. JM&A Group created an EV brand called EV+ Protect for this purpose, which is adding services as needed, such as battery degradation warranties. As the EV market grows, however, financing and insurance options will still need to stay current with traditional gas-powered vehicles.

These changes, and others, will help JM&A Groop continue its mission to help its clients stay competitive. However, while adding services, accommodating changes in consumer habits, and improving relationships with dealerships is important, Gunnell believes it is even more essential to ensure that all operations are thorough and optimized, avoiding any gaps in training, education, or services. Dealerships can expect to be better prepared than ever for the future of financing and insurance.

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