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Startup Virtual F&I Office Aims to Bolster Subprime Growth

  • Natalie Mattila
  • August 9, 2016
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canstockphoto34289744Full Throttle Finance Co., a virtual F&I office, launched in February in an effort to better serve subprime consumers and bolster sales growth for smaller dealers, said Joe Becerra, the company’s partner and vice president.

The La Feria, Texas-based company operates “just like an F&I office” except it targets the smaller dealerships who may not have an F&I office and struggle to serve the lower-credit consumers, Becerra said.

Full Throttle Finance does not replace a dealership’s F&I department, rather, it works on a consumer-to-consumer basis as a third-party service provider to help get the dealership’s declined clients approved through one of Full Throttle’s eight lender partners, Becerra explained. Once the consumer is approved, Full Throttle contacts the customer to discuss payment and rate options, but the consumer’s loan contract and documents are all completed directly at the dealership, Becerra added.

Becerra, the F&I manager at powersports dealership F&T Valley Motorsports — a role he still retains — saw a need for Full Throttle’s services through his dealership experience. “Dealerships are losing money, but it’s more about the clients that are getting declined,” he said.

In some cases, especially at smaller dealerships, there is no F&I department, Becerra said. Rather, the dealership’s sales personnel are submitting the deals themselves, and if the consumer gets declined, that’s the end of the line, he added, because many F&I employees are not as well educated on finance process or don’t know how to adjust loans terms properly.

Full Throttle Finance currently works with eight marine, recreational vehicle, and travel trailer dealerships in Southern Texas, but is actively recruiting powersports dealers, Becerra said. Additionally, the company will hire at least two or three sales and marketing representatives to help Full Throttle expand its powersports presence and generate more business, he added.

F&T Valley Motorsports’ Becerra will participate in a Dealer Panel at the upcoming PowerSports Finance 2016, Oct. 5 at Bellagio Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.go.powersportsfinance.com, or click here to register.

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