TrueCar, which not long ago was clashing with U.S. dealers, has reversed course under its new president and CEO, Chip Perry. As founder of AutoTrader.com, Perry brings his expertise in third-party automotive sites and on what consumers expect from dealers. Perry has made clear his pledge to improving relations to dealers and reinventing TrueCar’s role in the automotive space. “Over the past decade, TrueCar has been successful in attracting car buyers, but its overall approach has alienated many dealers across the country,” Perry wrote on the company site in “Our Pledge to Dealers.”
If you review the letter and its link to a presentation, you’ll find these three commitments the company has made to dealers:
Major changes in product offerings
TrueCar is moving to reduce the use of its site and brand identity as a purely price-driven shopping tool, and to enable dealers to compete on factors other than price. The company is working on strengthening its curve to use data that’s even more focused on local markets and more localized TrueCar price curves.
Addressing dealer concerns about how they’re treated as customers
TrueCar is redesigning data policies, billing model, and billing practices. TrueCar is also hiring over 100 field service consultants to help dealers make better use of its tools and close more sales. In the second quarter, the company will test an optional subscription billing model in Georgia (currently a Pay Per Sale state), with plans to roll it out nationally by end of year.
Cleaning up consumer advertising and website language
TrueCar’s goal is creating more balanced messaging that positions dealers in a positive light. One way this will be worked is to remove “Never Overpay” from its messaging. The prior language implied that dealers overcharge consumers.
There are several other changes to be implemented by TrueCar as part of this change. You can read more about it on the Full Pledge PDF. Additionally, TrueCar will clarify its intentions regarding potential future F&I and Trade-In products. The company will only support indirect finance and will not offer third-party direct finance products through TrueCar.com.