by Joseph Schena
Everything You Need to Know About FCA Co-Op for Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat Dealerships
Every automotive manufacturer advertising co-op program is different. If you’re new to FCA co-op, or just doing research, here’s everything you need to know to get started.
For the purposes of this article we’re talking about the co-op system in place for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat franchises. Alfa Romeo and Maserati franchises operate under different rules.
CDJRF dealers earn co-op advertising dollars for every new vehicle sold. Those dollars are deposited into two monthly accounts and show up for use around the first business day after a month is closed out. From there, dealerships have 60 days to claim eligible media spends and another 30 days to wrap up claims (if needed). Paid claims show up as credits on the dealership parts statement.
FCA pays out a standard amount of money for every vehicle sold. This means you’ll get the same amount of co-op money for selling a loaded new 2020 Ram 3500 as you will for a base model new 2020 Jeep Renegade. The standard rate is $160/new unit sold in PAP Funds and another $120/new unit sold in Bonus Funds. We’ll get to how those funds differ in a moment.
For sample earnings, let’s say your dealership sold 127 new vehicles in the month of May. That turns into 127 x $160 for $20,320 in PAP Funds and 127 x $120 for $15,240 in Bonus Funds. May sold units turn into money that you can spend with advertising media dated for the following two months, so you would have a total of $35,560 between the two funds available for June 1st through July 31st media.
I have co-op funds… now what?
Once you have funds in your accounts you can start the claim process to get the money into your auto dealership. When submitting a claim you’ll have the option to choose the bucket you want to pull from. Common options are for PAP/Bonus Funds or Special Funds (more on those later).
The process to claim PAP Funds or Bonus Funds is the same. You’ll submit the necessary documentation and within a week an auditor will review your claim. Once completed, your claim will be approved, declined, or a request for additional documentation will be issued (commonly referred to as a “Missing Doc”). If the claim is approved, the system will automatically deduct the value from your account and you’ll see it applied to your parts statement within another two weeks.
While the path to submit PAP Funds and Bonus Funds is the same, the amount of media needed to clear those accounts out varies. PAP Funds can be cleared dollar-for-dollar (1:1) for every eligible media dollar your dealership spends. For Bonus Funds you must submit two eligible media dollars for every dollar that you wish to claim (2:1). The only exception is FCA Certified Digital Media which will hit your Bonus Funds 1:1. These funds are also “turn-key” which means the provider will automatically submit the claim for the dealership.
Occasionally, ‘Special Funds’ will become available to the dealership. These funds are direct from FCA and are usually a result of a special incentive or factory program. There are often specific requirements for media, media run dates and other parameters. When applicable, those parameters will be visible through the PAP portal.
Submitting for reimbursement
To submit your claim, head over to DealerConnect and then navigate to the ‘Marketing’ tab. From there you’ll click on the ‘Promotional Allowance Program’ (PAP) link and that will take you to the PAP portal. The PAP portal is now administered by ACB as of 2020. Prior to that it was overseen by Ansira.
Two major points of emphasis stand out as best practices:
- Submit all marketing efforts for pre-approval. This will guarantee that, with proper documentation, your claims will be approved in full. The pre-approval submission process is a simple file upload via the PAP portal. Be sure to save all pre-approval records.
- Submit your claims in a regular, timely fashion. While uncommon, it is possible to lose funds due to inconsistent PAP submissions. This happens because the PAP system will automatically deduct from 1:1 funds first (giving the dealership a maximum payout). If claims are submitted out of order then you may lose out on PAP Bonus Funds. Submitting claims in a linear, chronological order will minimize this risk.
Ok, remember this too.
Like we mentioned in our write up about the Ford Co-op Program, every pre-approval submission and claim is managed by an individual. Sometimes errors happen, and when they do, be patient. You’ll find that overturning mistakes is easier when you have the right documentation by your side.
Are you having trouble navigating FCA co-op at your dealership? Perhaps you’re doing research on a new point that you may acquire? CBC knows CDJRF inside and out. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a recent testimonial from one of our CDJR dealers.
If you have any questions about FCA co-op and / or marketing, contact the experts at CBC and let’s have a conversation about getting you on the right path.