Darwin Automotive, one of the fastest growing F&I technology companies in the U.S., has added capabilities that allow customers to digitally share their car-deal structure with friends, family or advisers for their input before committing. The capability underscores a growing trend among software companies to share information and buying power traditionally bridled to the F&I office.
Several F&I software platforms, including RouteOne’s MaximTrak, have followed suit, launching technology that allows consumers to self-educate on F&I products and purchase remotely, signaling digital retailing’s growing influence over the F&I process.
Darwin’s latest feature, called FastPass, allows shoppers to select a vehicle and create a deal on the dealership website. After a questionnaire about driving habits and ownership plans, the customer is given five options: an out-the-door cash price, two financing options and two leasing options. Customers can customize the deal, but once one is selected, the next step is F&I product selection. At any point, the customer can share the deal with anyone they wish.
The process is designed so all that’s left for the customer is to go to the dealership to test drive the vehicle and sign the paperwork, said Phil Battista, CEO of Darwin Automotive.
“We have enabled for over three years our F&I application [inside the dealership] to be able to point and click to send a secure link to the second person that’s on the deal list,” Battista said. “Our customers were saying that consumers wanted to be able to do this when they were doing it online.”
Battista said the information shared with the secondary source is non-personally identifiable, which ensures the software remains compliant with federal and state data privacy and security regulations.
“It’s strictly a deal structure,” Battista said. “The make, model of the car, protection products, accessories. The payment structure. That’s what the other person gets to see.”CONTENT FROM AUTO/MATE
Darwin Automotive operates in all 50 states with more than 5,300 dealerships. Darwin delivered 504,000 deals on the Darwin Online platform in January. The company said it is on track to deliver 6.5 million vehicles in 2020. The program, which debuted after a 60-day pilot, is now active in all Darwin Online platforms at no additional cost to dealers.