Our Staff

Jackie Charniga

Retail / Finance & Insurance reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207 Detroit
Phone: 313-446-6047
E-Mail: jcharniga@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Flexdrive uses telematics to rein in costs

Subscription service provider Flexdrive uses telematics devices installed on vehicles to trim the cost of depreciation and insurance for its dealership partners.

Former Mercedes-Benz China exec takes helm at AutoGravity

Longtime Mercedes-Benz financial executive Alex Mallmann has been named CEO of AutoGravity, the financial technology company said. Mallmann, 47, replaces Andy Hinrichs, who has left the company.

Ask the experts

Turns out, if you want to be a disrupter but have little to no automotive experience, you're going to need some help.

Industry trends could reshape F&I

F&I has been a dealership profit center for decades but industry trends such as subscription services, online shopping and electric vehicles could prompt dealerships to restructure the role.

AutoGravity CEO Andy Hinrichs departs

AutoGravity co-founder and CEO Andy Hinrichs has left the company to pursue other opportunities. He will be replaced by Alex Mallmann, former head of Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance China.

Dan Mason

Mason oversees all finance operations for the nine stores within the dealership group. In Mason's first five months with the company, F&I profit per vehicle has increased $300.

Adam Marburger

Raised the F&I revenue per new vehicle at Suntrup Automotive Group in St. Louis, Mo., more than $300 in five months

Christopher Berlin

Created an analysis tool that helped a dealership group's new-vehicle operations achieve a six-figure gain in annual profit.

Subscriptions dismissed as a 'rich person's toy'

Several automakers are experimenting with subscription services, but Edmunds says the math doesn't work out for consumers.

N.Y. dealership settles complaints of deceptive practices against non-English speakers

A New York dealership accused of deceptive practices toward non-English-speaking Chinese customers agreed to pay more than $423,000 in restitution and penalties as part of a settlement with the state's attorney general.

Shoppers likely to rethink purchase timeline as rates climb

As auto loan interest rates climb, will car shoppers put off a purchase or jump in before the market overheats? Some will likely push ahead with a purchase, while others will postpone a deal.

Subscription service tech shows promise as F&I product

To prevent downsizing in the F&I department as new vehicle ownership models take hold, product providers should look to other areas of the automotive industry to create products outside the usual F&I realm, such as...

Consumers respond as auto loan interest rates hit 9-year high

As new-vehicle auto loan interest rates hit a nine-year high in June, consumers' average amount financed was relatively flat, and they put more money down.

In F&I, creating a workspace for top performers is key

In the F&I office, where mistakes can cost dealerships far more than a sale, hiring the right people matters, auto retail experts say.

Zero-percent interest auto loans halve in June

The share of zero-percent financing deals nearly halved in June from a year earlier, a sharp decline that could signal the end of "cheap and easy" auto finance deals, Edmunds said.

Negative equity hits record high

Negative-equity levels hit a record high in the first quarter, Edmunds said, as interest rates and loan terms continue to increase.

Auction giant looks ahead

With the prominence of the physical auto auction shrinking, Cox Automotive and its Manheim unit are honing digital services and building up other revenue streams such as reconditioning.

How Chase flexes marketing muscle for auto partners

Chase's marketing real estate sets it apart from its auto lending peers.

Ally to pay $19.7 million to settle class-action suit

Ally Financial agreed to pay nearly $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the lender of charging customers fees outside their lease-to-own agreements.

GM Financial follows the rules but consumers feel the pain

GM Financial stopped reporting customer payment information to the credit bureaus after problems following a systemwide technology upgrade, and legally, that was the lender's only choice.

GM Financial resumes payment reporting after 5-month hiatus

UPDATED: 6/20/18 3:43 pm ET

GM Financial customers were thrust into a state of uncertainty from January through May after the lender stopped reporting payment information to credit bureaus because of problems following a systemwide technology upgrade.

AutoFi's financing platform expands to send deals through BDC

Dealerships using AutoFi can now construct deals to send to customers, but at least one dealership is taking the platform much further, integrating the tool into its vehicle-delivery program.

Small used-car prices rise unexpectedly

Prices for small used cars are climbing to unexpected levels- a sign that demand is growing as price-sensitive consumers face dwindling options in the new-car market.

Tight budget? Don't forgo protective products

Those looking to whittle down monthly car payments could see F&I products as burdens, but investing in those products could be the key to avoiding a truly unmanageable cost later.

Credit availability, interest rates on dealers' minds

Dealer concern about rising interest rates has sharply increased, Cox Automotive survey finds.


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