While the official figures haven’t dropped, just about every outlet tracking new vehicle sales is projecting a significant decline in volume for December 2021. Showrooms have been trending toward the minimalist aesthetic since 2019 with the pandemic kicking things into overdrive as supply bottlenecks nullified practically every manufacturer’s ability to produce anywhere near its normal pace.
Last December was bleak, with sales falling by around 5 percent for the month as the typical transaction price for automobiles set new records. The U.S. market only saw 1.54 million sales, the lowest volume witnessed since December of 2014. But 2021 volumes are shaping up to be decidedly worse. This month is on track to fall by anywhere from 23 to 30 percent with retail sales barely cresting 1 million units as transaction prices for both new and used vehicles surpass all previous metrics.
It’s a fairly bizarre story, and although you can read the whole thing at Slate, I’ll give you the rundown right here: TrueCar was the brainchild of a “professional disrupter” who specialized in founding companies that added an unnecessary level of Internet-ness to existing processes — think eToys or Pets.com. TrueCar had a lot of initial success before “going through the Swirl,” which is how TrueCar refers to the near-collapse of its business a few years back. The company’s founder had to ask the board for a raise so he could keep his Aston Martins, which emotionally damaged and triggered him to the point that he had to go to counseling.
I know, right? Just when you think that there’s nobody out there less likeable than a dealership principal, along comes a guy who needs therapy because he got a massive raise. But wait, it gets worse. After therapy, TrueCar’s founder “pivoted” towards helping dealerships make more money, because somehow that would be even more disruptive. The cynic in me thinks this 43-year-old billionaire just finally figured out what most teenagers learn with their first lemonade stand, and what pretty much all automotive journalists learn after their second press trip: if you have a choice between screwing over the people you talk to every day or screwing over some random person off the street, the smart business move is to prefer the interests of the former over the interests of the latter.
To make this as plain as possible: TrueCar is a “consumer service” that helps dealers maintain profit. So, there is absolutely no reason you should ever waste a moment of your time with TrueCar. At least, that’s how I personally saw it prior to last week, when I used TrueCar for the first time. Not that I wanted to use TrueCar, mind you. I just had no choice, because my mom made me use TrueCar.
After retiring on April 1 following 13 years at American Honda, former executive vice president John Mendel isn’t fading quietly into obscurity.
Sure, he plans to form a distillery business with his sons — who doesn’t? — but retired auto executives rarely take both feet out of their former world. So, it doesn’t come as a shock that Mendel is poised to join the board of directors at the car shopping website TrueCar.
When TrueCar president and CEO Chip Perry announced a revamp of the car-shopping site, he failed to mention one big change: layoffs.
According to a source and confirmed by TrueCar, an undisclosed number of the company’s employees — mostly located at its headquarters in Santa Monica — received layoff notices yesterday.
TrueCar, the prolific third-party car shopping site, is changing the way it does business in the hopes of mending dealer relations and reversing the company’s flagging fortunes.
When TrueCar president and CEO Chip Perry took the helm of the site last December, his stated goal was to make amends with ornery partners and bring the company out of a period of turmoil.
There comes a point in our lives when we all fly off the handle. It can happen when we’re still young and ready to believe anything or when we’re old and the voice of those young’uns make us instinctively say nasty, insensitive thoughts.
Temporary insanity comes and goes with the seasons. With that I am about to recommend a [s]car[/s] [s]truckster[/s] [s]minivan[/s] lame duck vehicle that has a surprisingly good fit for one type of buyer in particular: Those with large families who want a new car but don’t really give a shit about cars.
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.
TrueCar CEO Scott Painter will leave the company at the end of this year, Automotive News is reporting.
Painter announced he was leaving the company after TrueCar announced it had lost $14.7 million in the second quarter on $65.3 million revenue.
“After a decade of building TrueCar from an idea into a public company, I have come to the conclusion reached by many founders and entrepreneurs in my position: It is time for a change.” Painter said in a statement according to Automotive News.
Painter will remain on the company’s board of directors.
A lawsuit brought forward by a group of 100 auto dealerships are alleging car-buying service TrueCar of “deceptive business practices”, reports Automotive News.
The lawsuit claims TrueCar’s advertising, which proclaims transparency in vehicle transaction prices for customers, does not disclose the $299 and $399 dollar fees that are paid by dealers for new and used car sales brokered by TrueCar.
TrueCar CEO Scott Painter said his company will miss expected earnings for the second quarter, and said the company needed a “wake-up” in his call, Automotive News is reporting.
The news sent shares of TrueCar plummeting more than 35 percent. TrueCar closed Friday down 3.81 down to $6.87 per share.
Painter said a lack of marketing was to blame for the company’s struggles in the second quarter, not the recent highly publicized split with AutoNation.
The report details a May lunch between TrueCar CEO Scott Painter, President John Krafcik and Senior Vice President of Dealer Development Mike Timmons, and AutoNation COO Bill Berman and Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon. At the lunch, TrueCar executives reportedly said they would require data from all AutoNation sales — regardless if they were generated by TrueCar — for the two companies to continue doing business.
“Over my dead body,” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said later, according to Automotive News.
Details between the AutoNation and TrueCar split are becoming clear, Automotive News is reporting.
After yesterday’s announcement that the web service and nationwide dealership chain were splitting up — in which AutoNation laid most of the blame on unreasonable demands by TrueCar during contract negotiations — the company’s respective CEOs have been getting nasty.
“Our partnership with AutoNation just turned into, in a very real sense, a choice for the consumer,” TrueCar CEO Scott Painter told Automotive News. “It really makes them our competition.”
The nation’s largest auto dealer will stop using TrueCar’s lead generation at the end of this month, Automotive News is reporting.
The split is largely focused on the use of customer information and contract demands. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson didn’t mince words.
“TrueCar has made some onerous demands in its new contract negotiations with us that are unprecedented in my 45 years in business and are unconscionable and unacceptable. We cannot agree to them,” Jackson told Automotive News.
Car buyers are tired of the dog and pony show that goes along with trying to negotiate for a new car and are quickly turning to car buying services like TrueCar as a way to get transparency into the pricing process.
While places like TrueCar will save you a little money compared to just walking in to a dealer off the street, they won’t get you the absolute best price and will do it at the cost of your privacy. TrueCar makes money by charging dealers $299 to $399 per lead once a customer that was referred from them makes a purchase. They gather data from various automotive data aggregators along with vehicle registration and tax sources and perform analysis on it in order to establish an average price paid.
One of the requirements for affiliated dealers is to give them access to their Dealership Management System (DMS) or to manually transmit vehicle sales data to a supported third-party vendor. A DMS is a management system that dealers use to manage customers and vehicles that contains information such as pricing for vehicles bought and sold along with customer details like names, addresses, and social security numbers.