Sonic collected $2,431 in same-store F&I gross profit per vehicle at its franchised dealerships in the fourth quarter, up 3.5 percent from a year earlier and up 1 percent from the third quarter.

“Despite a rising interest rate environment, F&I performance continues to be … strong, benefiting from higher retail unit volume and near-record F&I per retail unit,” Smith said in a Feb. 15 earnings call.

Sonic CFO Heath Byrd called vehicle affordability one of Sonic’s concerns entering 2023 and referenced elevated interest rates.

“As rates go up, I do think that it has the potential of impacting finance penetration,” Byrd said on the call.

“People shop around [a] little bit more. And so affordability is absolutely [a] concern. We haven’t seen it materially impact us at this point, but it is one of our concerns going into the year,” he said.

Sonic, of Charlotte, N.C., ranks No. 7 on Automotive News‘ most recent top 150 dealership groups list, retailing 103,486 new vehicles in 2021.

John Huetter, Mark Hollmer, C.J. Moore and Gail Kachadourian Howe contributed to this report.

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