Car dealers should be ready for possible FTC regulations

Another potential provision of the FTC would be to prohibit dealers from selling accessories or F&I products that “do not benefit the consumer.”

Panelist Zeigler Automotive Group COO Sam D’Arc said of the FTC move:

Noonan said dealers should be prepared for FTC regulations to ensure that what customers are buying is not tied to the transaction.

She also encouraged dealers to evaluate F&I products now. Panel Earlier in her discussion, she recalled conducting a practice test of her F&I product on behalf of a client. Some offerings were “great” and “some weren’t,” she said.

Dealers are responsible for parroting back product providers’ claims to customers, she warned.

D’Arc said his group is preparing for potential FTC regulations by reducing the number of products it offers.

Panelist Cindy Merry, head of finance at Continental Auto Group, suggested that such refinement might be worthwhile.

“We’ve been very careful with our product reviews,” she said. Overwhelmed trying to learn too large a portfolio.

D’Arc said one “light of hope” was that dealers were likely doing what Noonan advised.

“These are good basic practices that most dealers in this room do in some way,” he said.

According to Noonan, everything the FTC is trying to crack down on with its new rules was already illegal. But she said even good dealers had to worry about new proposals to regulate their behavior.

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