TrueCar has attracted much unwanted attention recently, drawing the ire of Honda and torquing off regulators in several states. In response, the company has announced a series of changes to its business model, designed to address the legality of its service, according to a report in Automotive News.

The biggest change is that dealers in some states will now have to subscribe to the lead service rather than paying a per-vehicle fee for sales closed from a TrueCar referral. Consumers will now have to sign up with TrueCar, providing contact information in the process. Additionally, TrueCar will drop the term "invoice" when describing the deals it offers.

While these changes are expected to mitigate TrueCar's biggest problems, the company also says it will be making its service more dealer-friendly, according to AN. One of the contentious aspects of the TrueCar business model for some dealers has been the requirement that TrueCar have access to the dealer's computers, such that the company can mine sales data. TrueCar says it will be limiting this in the future, along with establishing a national dealer council to procure feedback from its partners.


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  • 21 Comments
      polishlanman
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to see they're sorting things out. Auto Industry needs some transperency
      polishlanman
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to see they're working things out.
      Dean Hammond
      • 3 Years Ago
      People, consumers, do yourselves a favor, unless you have extreme reason stick with franchaised dealers, when it comes down to it the existence of buying services like this, they only benefit one individual, True Cars. Be it this company or Cars.Direct or even Cosco, they receive $ from the dealer for the "privilidge" which, for all intents and purposes is brokering. And should there be a problem....who will you defer too?....just do your homework first and deal explicitly with a Corporation that has invested MILLIONS in sales service, training,certification and bodyshop, rather than someone that is clueless about the product at the end of an e-mail adress bleeding said Franchaise owners and feasting on consumers "Fear" of Dealerships..
        tump
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        All I can say is that dealerships have earned that reputation. My last car I purchased was from my desk at work. I never even met the guy. I told him what I wanted and he found it and had it sent to a local dealer. The car was delivered to work. The originating dealership (where the broker got the car) lost one of the two smart keys. I talked to the broker (only, ever) and he arranged a replacement key (~$300 worth) and that was the only issue. I didn't have to go down to the dealership and go over these numbers with my boss just wait on a few minutes, oh boss man didn't like those numbers! **** that, my time is worth more than that and I don't care that somebody made a profit from dealing with that stuff for me.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        the responses to that retort should be interesting, bracing for downvotes....lol
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      As someone looking for a new car, I've noticed their recent changes and they make it significantly more annoying to use. Not sure it's as useful anymore.
      munkymonkjr
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other words, everything that made True Car great won't be there anymore? That is really a shame. I used TC to get a car 18 months ago now, and the price I got was pretty damn good. 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Looks like my next car purchase will need more effort than just a quick TC quote.
      Esher127
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love lazy capitalism. The option was certainly there to restructure the way cars are sold, cut out all the underhanded crap that everyone hates, and be a respectable industry. But instead... SUE THE NEW GUY! Keep doing business as usual.
        Adam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Esher127
        Dealers who use TrueCar are shooting themselves in the foot. Sure some are shady but there are shady businesses in every industry. There are shady consumers who are just as dishonest as some dealers. So don't go thinking that every car buying horror story you hear is true or accurate. TrueCar tells consumers that it's all black and white but they are wrong. Every deal is different. Dealers are for profit. If you are one of those people who think the dealers shouldn't make any money you should go buy your next car from one of those non for profit dealers. You better hurry though because they don't stay in business too long.
      Luna
      • 3 Years Ago
      Auto dealers are the most gullible people in the world. They let everyone outside the business tell them how to run their business. If you want to be a millionaire. Dream up a program and sell it to an auto dealer. They will buy anything. They love consultants and programs. Dog and Pony Show Sales Events are very popular too.
      ELG
      • 3 Years Ago
      and customers get screwed again. truecar and buying services have substantially lower pricing agreements than you can negotiate yourself.
      Ron
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sad really... I was using TrueCar to shop for a new car, but now that the sales data is gone, and they no longer show actual car cost to the dealer, there is no reason to use it anymore. I have no problem with the dealer making a profit from my car purchase, and having the ability to pay it's employees, but there is a difference between allowing the dealer to make a reasonable profit, and letting a dealer take you to the cleaners.
      ELG
      • 3 Years Ago
      Having been shopping for a new car for several months, I just checked, and yep, pricing that previously was about $600 - $1000 under invoice is now right at invoice, and the data that showed what cars are selling for is gone. If you are cheering this change on, you're completely clueless. This is clearly cronyism on the part of states protecting the dealer networks ability to fleece customers.
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