Career Development

What Does an Automotive Finance Manager Do?

Find out what an Automotive Finance Manager does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as an Automotive Finance Manager.

The Automotive Finance Manager plays an integral role within the dealership, acting as the link between customers and financing institutions. This position involves exploring and offering various financing options and insurance products that align with customers’ needs and financial situations. By maintaining strong relationships with banks and finance companies, the manager ensures a smooth and efficient financing process. Their expertise in understanding and adhering to legal requirements, coupled with their ability to negotiate terms that benefit both the customer and the dealership, makes them an essential part of the vehicle purchasing journey. Through their efforts, they not only contribute to the dealership’s profitability but also enhance customer satisfaction by providing tailored financial solutions.

Automotive Finance Manager Job Duties

  • Review and approve auto loan and lease applications, ensuring compliance with dealership and financial institution policies.
  • Structure deals in accordance with lender and dealership guidelines to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction.
  • Present and sell financing options, extended warranties, and additional products/services to customers.
  • Negotiate terms with financial institutions to secure competitive interest rates and financing programs.
  • Collaborate with sales team to align financing options with customers’ needs and sales objectives.
  • Process financing and leasing deals accurately and secure approval through financial sources to meet customer and dealership objectives.
  • Resolve funding issues with lenders and address contract discrepancies to ensure prompt payment to the dealership.
  • Conduct regular training sessions for sales staff on financing options, application processes, and compliance requirements to enhance dealership sales and finance integration.

Automotive Finance Manager Salary & Outlook

Factors influencing an Automotive Finance Manager’s salary include dealership size, sales volume, experience level, negotiation skills, and the ability to secure favorable financing deals. Performance-based bonuses and commissions also significantly impact earnings, rewarding those who excel in customer satisfaction and meet or exceed sales targets.

  • Median Annual Salary: $110,250 ($53/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $253,000 ($121.63/hour)

The employment of automotive finance managers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing vehicle sales, complexity of financing options, and a greater emphasis on dealership profitability. Automotive Finance Managers are key in navigating these trends, offering tailored financing solutions to customers, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations, making their role indispensable in the automotive sales process.

Automotive Finance Manager Job Requirements

Education: An Automotive Finance Manager typically holds a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, with a preference for majors in Finance, Business Administration, or Economics. Coursework should include financial analysis, accounting, business law, and ethics to provide a solid foundation for managing financial transactions and advising customers on financing options. Advanced degrees may focus on strategic financial management and leadership skills, essential for overseeing finance departments and making informed decisions in the automotive industry.

Experience: Automotive Finance Managers typically come from a background rich in various facets of the automotive industry, including sales, customer service, and finance. Their experience often encompasses hands-on roles that have honed their understanding of auto financing, deal structuring, and customer relationship management. Many have progressed through on-the-job training, internal training programs, and mentorship opportunities, which have equipped them with the skills to navigate the complexities of automotive financing, negotiate with lenders, and ensure compliance with financial regulations. This blend of practical experience and targeted training prepares them to effectively lead finance departments within automotive dealerships.

Certifications & Licenses: Automotive Finance Managers typically do not require specific certifications or licenses to perform their job duties.

Automotive Finance Manager Skills

Credit Analysis: Analyzing financial histories, current debts, and income stability is crucial for evaluating a customer’s creditworthiness. Automotive Finance Managers use this analysis to craft financing options and interest rates that suit the buyer’s financial situation while meeting the dealership’s revenue objectives, ensuring adherence to lending regulations and dealership policies.

Loan Structuring: A nuanced approach is required to develop financing solutions that meet both the dealership’s goals and the customer’s financial abilities. By blending negotiation skills with a comprehensive understanding of lending criteria and regulations, Automotive Finance Managers can optimize loan terms to benefit both parties.

Interest Rate Negotiation: The ability to negotiate lower interest rates with lenders enhances a dealership’s competitive edge, increasing sales and customer satisfaction. Knowledge of current market rates, lender policies, and leveraging financial institution relationships are essential for securing favorable terms.

Regulatory Compliance: Automotive Finance Managers play a critical role in auditing transactions and contracts to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Their meticulous attention to detail protects the dealership from legal repercussions and upholds the integrity of customer transactions.

Insurance Product Knowledge: Familiarity with various insurance products, such as GAP insurance, extended warranties, and credit insurance, enables Automotive Finance Managers to offer solutions that align with customers’ financial needs and risk profiles. This expertise not only boosts customer satisfaction but also increases finance department profitability by effectively matching products with customer needs.

Customer Relationship Management: The ability to build and maintain strong relationships with customers is pivotal for ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn influences repeat business and referrals. Effective communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills are essential for addressing the unique needs and concerns of each client, fostering trust, and facilitating smooth financial transactions.

Automotive Finance Manager Work Environment

An Automotive Finance Manager typically operates within the bustling environment of a car dealership. Their workspace is often a blend of private office and showroom floor, where they balance time between meticulous paperwork and engaging customer interactions. The nature of the job demands proficiency with financial software and tools, alongside a reliable communication setup to liaise with banks and financial institutions.

Work hours can extend beyond the typical nine-to-five, especially during peak car buying seasons, requiring a degree of flexibility. The dress code leans towards professional attire, reflecting the importance of making a good impression on potential buyers.

The pace is fast, with a constant flow of sales transactions and financing options to be managed, making the ability to work under pressure and maintain accuracy paramount. Interaction with sales staff and customers is frequent, necessitating strong interpersonal skills. Despite the demanding environment, opportunities for professional growth are abundant, with performance directly impacting career advancement.

Advancement Prospects

Automotive Finance Managers can ascend to higher positions within a dealership, such as General Sales Manager or General Manager, by demonstrating exceptional performance and leadership skills. Mastery in negotiating with lenders, understanding of compliance laws, and the ability to maximize dealership profits are crucial for advancement.

To achieve these career milestones, gaining experience in various dealership departments, including sales, can provide a well-rounded understanding of dealership operations. Specializing in areas like leasing, loan underwriting, and insurance products can also distinguish a candidate for promotion.

Progressing further, some may transition to roles at automotive finance companies or larger dealership groups, leveraging their expertise in finance management to oversee multiple locations or regions. Success in this trajectory often depends on a proven track record of profitability and customer satisfaction.


What Does a Pre Sales Engineer Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does an Assistant Football Coach Do?