Portfolio highlighted buyers who are financing their purchase nowadays are acquiring more than just GAP protection or vehicle service contracts from the F&I office.

According to internal data from the national provider and administrator of F&I products and dealer participation programs, antimicrobial treatments gained ground as a percentage of all F&I product sales in March and April. Portfolio indicated the trends reflect a renewed interest in eliminating and protecting against disease-causing pathogens among dealers, agents and consumers.

Applied to new and pre-owned vehicle and RV interiors at the dealership using provider-supplied chemicals and a sprayer or fogger, Portfolio explained antimicrobial treatments are designed to eliminate and protect against pathogens and fungi that can transmit illnesses or cause odors and stains.

Antimicrobial treatments accounted for nearly 35% of chemical-based F&I products sold by Portfolio dealers in March and April, a nearly 20% market-share gain from the same period a year ago, executives reported.

And Portfolio said the category’s share of all F&I product sales grew to nearly 3% even as total sales declined.

“Those were down months for us, of course, as they were for all providers, so this is encouraging news,” Portfolio vice president of sales and marketing Tanya Stevenson said in a news release. “Having partnered with Cilajet and, more recently, Ultimar, we understand the value of these treatments and the advancements they have made over the past several years.”

With local and statewide stay-at-home orders expected to loosen in the months ahead, Stevenson encouraged dealers and agents to continue to make antimicrobials a priority.

“Wherever we stand in the fight against the pandemic, treating the interior is a smart choice for every vehicle and every customer, including those who declined at time of sale,” she said. “It’s a concrete step we as an industry can take to promote the health and safety of all Americans.”