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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