Third-Party Website Execs Discuss Transparency

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J.D. Power blog

Meeting at the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable in Las Vegas, leaders of Edmunds, TrueCar, Kelley Blue Book and Cars.com discussed vehicle price transparency.

Get insights from these top leaders as they focus on data collection and the consumer.

 Moderator: Joel Ewanick, managing partner, Global Auto Systems, Inc.

Panel Members:

Larry Dominique, executive vice president, TrueCar, Inc.

Jared Rowe, President, Kelley Blue Book

Alex Vetter, senior vice president, Cars.com

Joel: You’re very different in how you collect your data—so tell me Seth (Edmunds) why is your data so much better than their data?

 Seth (Edmunds): “I guess we see ourselves across the panel as being least competitive with Cars.com. We respect what they are doing: with the classifieds industry and what they have done in used cars—that’s not really our core space. That might change in the future. I think our biggest differences are with TrueCar and with Kelley Blue Book. . .

Alex (Cars.com): “Putting a price on a transaction that we know is wildly complex creates distrust in the industry. The expectation that this is the price you are going to pay—is not something that any website [represented] here can actually deliver because so much goes into the pricing at the retail store. We rely on dealer participation to drive that pricing.”

Jared (Kelley Blue Book): “It’s not just about being accurate, you also need to be relevant. . . We don’t go into point pricing. If you look at our approach now, it’s range-based pricing. It’s what’s going on in the market. . . At Kelley, we set the market context: be neutral to the transaction, whether it be new or used, whether it be trade-in, or residual value. We are a full-end provider of values. We understand how that number is going to be used offline.”

Larry (TrueCar): “None of us from an Internet base set one price. Prices are set by the dealers. The dealers determine what they are going to show on any of our websites. We show what we want to show—a detailed graph, with a histogram and bell curve—the distribution between highs and lows, which has narrowed as price transparency has become more relevant. . .

 

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