Safe-Guard will replace the Amynta Group as GM Protection’s white-label F&I product partner. Amynta did not respond to a request for comment.
“We’re out talking to dealers right now,” GM Financial Senior Vice President Matt St. Charles told Automotive News Tuesday. St. Charles, who leads the GM Protection arm of GM Financial, said the reception has been positive.
St. Charles said the switch in providers and product revamp followed General Motors’ decision about 18 months ago to move F&I protection operations from its manufacturing business into GM Financial.
That change led to a re-examination of the protection business and a rethinking of “what the experience should look like for both our dealers and our customers,” St. Charles said, adding Safe-Guard seemed the best fit to deliver that experience.
St. Charles said the F&I product overhaul would include extending coverage to variables such as lift kits and medium-duty trucks. GM wanted to design products customers and dealers told the company they wanted.
“So we’ve included some of those features into our coverages,” he said.
GM Financial also would introduce new electric vehicle-specific products, including service contracts and prepaid maintenance, he said.
“GM Protection will underwrite vehicle protection products on most GM vehicles while enhancing the offering with Safe-Guard products specifically developed for our brands,” St. Charles said in a statement Monday. “This is part of our strategy to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and help drive retention to our dealer network for any future service needs.”
St. Charles told Automotive News pricing would be “very competitive” with the market, and the products would carry the branding of the relevant vehicle make, such as Cadillac or Buick.
The captive finance company also will under the Safe-Guard partnership continue to offer GM’s more than 4,000 dealerships an opportunity to sell GM F&I products covering other automakers’ used vehicles. Such products, formerly known as “myAuto” will be rebranded “Nomad,” according to St. Charles.
St. Charles said GM Protections underwrote core products, while Safe-Guard assumed the risk on other GM-branded products. Safe-Guard would serve as the administrator on all products, he said.
Switching to Safe-Guard gives GM the product provider’s experience and expertise integrating with digital retail and F&I menu providers, St. Charles said. GM’s F&I products and pricing could be available in dealerships’ platforms of choice,”making it easier to do business,” he said.
“That was a big part of the experience,” St. Charles said.
Because of Safe-Guard’s ability to integrate electronically, GM dealerships’ F&I managers could avoid having to switch systems to calculate the price of F&I coverage on a vehicle or to execute an electronic contract.
“Safe-Guard’s expertise is creating fully branded customer-focused products, value-based dealer business solutions and data-driven sales and business development,” Safe-Guard CEO Randy Barkowitz said in a statement Monday. “We are excited to launch this solution with GM Protection and support a world-class customer and dealer experience for these brands.”
The company’s first priority for the fourth-quarter transition would be those already using the GM Financial-Amynta product suite, but it’s talking to other dealerships as well, St. Charles said. He said a dealership can integrate GM Protection’s offerings quickly — in a matter of days or a week.
About 40 percent of GM’s more than 4,000 dealerships use GM Financial to fund their floorplans, which gives the company a foot in the door to promote its F&I wares, according to St. Charles.
“We’re pretty excited about what we’re bringing to market,” St. Charles said.