TrueCar Hires Former AutoTrader CEO, Probably Has Different Feelings Toward AutoNation

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

TrueCar announced Monday that it hired former AutoTrader CEO Chip Perry to help the third-party vendor turn around a turbulent year of departing executives and crumbling business relations.

According to a statement released by TrueCar, Perry will take over for current CEO and founder Scott Painter on Dec. 15. Perry will also be president of the company, a position which was also vacated earlier this year.

“My initial focus will be on TrueCar’s dealer partners – listening to them and finding ways to serve them better,” Perry said in a statement. Painter had a public, messy breakup with AutoNation this summer and a $14.7 million loss in the second quarter.

Perry was CEO of AutoTrader from 1997 up until his departure in 2013. It wasn’t immediately clear why Perry left AutoTrader in 2013. Initial reports that he was retiring were revised to say that he resigned the top post in the company he founded.

In July 2013, Perry took over as CEO for a group of websites including Apartment Guide, and other real estate-oriented sites.

In September, TrueCar’s president John Krafcik left the company to head Google’s autonomous car development program. Before Krafcik’s post at TrueCar, he was chief for Hyundai Motor America.

Perry may have a rough Day One. The Internet vendor has been accused of deceptive business practices by not disclosing the $299 or $399 fee paid by dealers (which is usually passed on directly to buyers) for the referral by TrueCar.

It’s unclear if Perry has any experience in bridge building, but he has a few weeks before he starts to brush up if he doesn’t.

Shares of TrueCar rose modestly Monday after the announcement.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • AlmoistThere AlmoistThere on Nov 23, 2015

    TrueStory: One time, I went to buy a Subaru and tried this trick with the first salesman I found. I said to the salesman: "Salesman, what if I paid you 300 to give me a better deal than what you would have?" He promptly said "No! You will need to go talk to my friend. He will then tell you to go to me and then I will give you a great deal + 300 extra." I asked him who his friend was. "Drew Carr," he said.

  • Carguy Carguy on Nov 23, 2015

    “My initial focus will be on TrueCar’s dealer partners – listening to them and finding ways to serve them better,” That's certainly a change in business model - their primary focus used to be serving car buyers and improving dealer margins.

  • RideHeight RideHeight on Nov 23, 2015

    Wow, with cranial capacity like that he'd better also be working on cancer cures, transparent steel and FTL space travel. Cro-Magnon genes?

  • CliffG CliffG on Nov 24, 2015

    So instead of running commercials pretending they work for the customer their new ads will be to tell everyone they work for the dealer? I think they might want to stick with the lie. Just sayin'.