What’s Trendy in F&I?
There’s a lot of talk in the auto industry—including within the aftermarket product sector—about vehicle trends. Everyone is always trying to pinpoint what the “next big thing” will be and connect the dots to predict which features will flop and which ones are here to stay.
But what about F&I products themselves? Well, there are trends in this market too! And just like in the auto business, some trends are fleeting; others become more widely adopted and gain traction with dealers and customers alike. By analyzing the competitive landscape, it’s possible to work out how the aftermarket product industry is adapting to the evolving automotive business and consumer demands. Read on to learn about a few key trends shaping the latest generation of F&I products.
Coverage for the Sharing Economy
The proliferation of ridesharing apps has been a welcome relief for people who have nightmares about finding parking at a big concert or sporting event. For drivers on the apps, rideshare services are another source of income in an evolving economy. But until very recently, vehicle service contracts almost universally excluded vehicles that were used to carry passengers for hire. With as many as 2 million drivers working for ridesharing apps Lyft and Uber, that’s a lot of vehicle owners who could uniquely benefit from coverage but would be ineligible!
Fortunately for rideshare drivers, product providers are embracing this market: multiple administrators now allow ridesharing as a permissible use. Some programs require a surcharge for the privilege, but a select few include it at no additional cost. Drive on, sharers!
“Tech Support” for Cars
The advanced technology of today’s vehicles seems to make headlines constantly. The network of sensors, cameras, and other parts behind driver assistance and connectivity systems are expensive to replace, and more drivers are relying on them for an added layer of safety. Fortunately, a handful of administrators are leading the charge to cover these high-tech vehicle systems. Many of those providers include these parts on their exclusionary service contract coverage, but a growing number are going a step further by designing programs specifically for advanced technological components and systems. It’s safe to say that coverage for advanced technology is no longer a “blind spot” in the F&I product market.
No Gasoline? No Problem!
Gasoline-powered engines still dominate today’s vehicle landscape, but electric vehicles (EVs) are more prevalent than ever. Dozens of new EVs are slated for release by multiple OEMs in the next 5-6 years, in addition to those models already on the market. With these vehicles now occupying a larger niche, F&I product offerings have grown alongside this segment. Coverage for EVs is most commonly offered on service contracts, but some providers also include these vehicles on their ancillary products. As EVs gain wider adoption, product providers who are “plugged in” to their need for coverage will be ahead of the (battery) pack!
Is your product provider keeping up with what’s trending—and viable—in the aftermarket landscape? National Auto Care offers a suite of products built with innovation and passion, with coverage for the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s buyers. Contact us to learn more!