Priority One Financial Services,  a finance and insurance managed services provider serving the marine and RV industry, experienced the largest growth of its new dealer partners in the history of the company during the first half of 2009. The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company which represents over 500 marine and RV dealers nationwide signed four times more new dealer partners compared to the same period last year, according to a news release.

“In today’s industry we are seeing more dealers recognize the importance of having trained F&I professionals serving their customers,” said Heather Mariscal, president. “We look forward to utilizing our leverage and experience to help all of our dealer partners thrive during these challenging economic times.”

The company also attributes the dealer growth to dealers seeking ways to lower expenses and increase profits. “We have seen many dealers looking to cut costs by outsourcing their F&I services,” said Nicole Armstrong, national sales director. “It’s a win-win situation for our dealers because they not only lower their overhead; they also increase their deliveries and profits.”

Additionally, Priority One’s focus has shifted to serving both cash and finance customers. Working as an unpaid extension of a dealership’s sales team, Priority One guides each customer from deposit through delivery, thus limiting outside influences that may jeopardize the sale. This helps dealers maximize their F&I profits by identifying additional revenue opportunities. It also ensures that every customer, regardless of their method of payment, has the same experience and access to products that will protect their recreational purchase.

This growth comes at a time when many dealers are struggling to secure financing and deliver units. Utilizing over a billion dollars of retail sales volume, Priority One has the leverage to obtain competitive finance packages despite current economic challenges. “Many dealers have expressed concerns regarding the lack of retail financing in our industry and its effect on their ability to deliver units,” Mariscal said. “With fewer customers walking onto their lots, it’s more important than ever that dealers have a reliable source for retail financing. That’s where we come in. We ensure that the customers who are in the market are able to secure financing and in most cases be on the road that weekend.”

Priority One has been serving the marine and RV industry since 1987. Acquired in 2007 by Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, Priority One serves as the F&I managed services provider for hundreds of dealerships nationwide.