Oct. 3, 2022

Why F&I? Why Automotive? The Last Great American Industry.

Why F&I?  Why Automotive? The Last Great American Industry.



Well...here goes.  I give you...THE first official Driving Vision Podcast blog post.  I'm told THIS is a place to speak openly and to gently ramble on.

A vendor partner called this morning to ask my opinion on a speech he is giving next month on an F&I or auto-related topic for a convention.  We had a great conversation that got me thinking...and then excited.  This vendor doesn't want to speak on the "State of F&I" or Automotive, since others will have already covered that by the time he speaks....and have covered that...and continue to cover that.  So, we discussed, what topic could he present with a high impact.  I gave my opinion...and now may well have enough material for a full episode on this topic.

Why F&I?  Why Automotive?  Why is this truly the Last Great American Industry?

My auto industry "why" started as a High School student looking for a job.  I never ever ever ever intended for the auto business to become a career.  In fact, for many years I wore it like a temporary badge...something I would eventually graduate out of.  After all, my Dad was a University professor.  I had friends who went into every professional field imaginable.  I intended to do something professional, something respectable (or so I then thought).  Fortunately, I remained. I remained in automotive.  First, I cleaned cars.  Then, I sold cars.  Sold F&I and Insurance products to Auto Dealers.  Sold F&I to the largest Automotive Dealers in the world.  Today, I firmly believe what I told a group gathered for a CDK forum with former Automotive News Editor and current Sirius XM Podcaster Jason Stein.  In that forum, I referred to the Automotive business as the "Last Great American Industry."  I learned everything I needed to know about business...in this automotive business.  In this industry, I've seen limitless opportunity, realized.  I've also seen coworkers squander opportunity in unimaginable and terrifying ways.  I've seen excess in both extremes.  There is no business on the face of this earth that provides so much opportunity and potential...yet, if not pursued with integrity, values, and a clear vision, this industry will grind you up, spit you out, and quickly forget about you.  And yet...for those willing to do the very hard work, this industry removes the class/caste system so pervasive in other industries and provides opportunity to those earnestly seeking that opportunity.


So, that will be the subject of a future podcast.  Until then, I found this ad from my car sales past in the mid nineties.  I had just become a Car Salesperson...selling Isuzus and Kias in Orem, Utah, which is a great story in itself.  As you'll see in the ad, State Street was under construction.  Our road was all but completely closed.  Many of my fellow salespeople got frustrated waiting around for the next customer.  So, they would often, and for long periods of time, leave the lot...presenting me the opportunities that came with each customer who would fight through construction to pay us a visit.  I broke sales records that summer of construction because I was there, present, without expectation, and had the good sense to work hard through that construction adversity.  But, THAT IS lesson and gift of this automotive industry...work hard, work long, and give your all and what you'll get in return are possibilities without limit.  But...that's just my opinion. What's been your experience?