Award-winning Product Targets Young Car Buyers


The members of Team Vigilance, Houston Huff, Alec Bond, and Lucas Myhre, celebrate their victory in the second annual F&I Innovator of the Year competition, which challenges six teams of Northwood automotive students to conceptualize and build a new finance and insurance product.

“We want to thank all the teachers and mentors from this competition and across Northwood who’ve been a huge inspiration and motivation throughout this project,” Myrhe said. “With their guidance, we were able to deliver a product that is beneficial to customers and dealerships, increasing dealership profit, retention, and customer satisfaction.”

The team’s product, 401Karrs, addresses a concern among millennials and Generation Z: financial stability. With 401Karrs, this new generation of vehicle buyers will have a tool to help manage money by reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket expenses through a down payment on a vehicle. Dealers can also participate in reinsurance on the 401Karrs product, accruing interest on the money set aside for the down payment.

“Team Vigilance hit the ground running from day one, and they weren’t afraid to go back to the drawing board,” said their mentor Craig Drew, general manager of Central Maine Motors Auto Group in Waterville, Maine. “Their dedication and perseverance to create a useful and beneficial product won them this award.”