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TrueCar announced today through a formal press release that it is making radical changes to the way its product performs for consumers and is sold to dealers. The entire release was published earlier today on DrivingSales.com.
Along with "pro-industry product changes," a highlight of the modifications include:
-- The removal of the cost per billing model in some states, moving toward a subscription based plan.
-- Eliminating the term "invoice" from the site, replace it with "discounts to MSRP."
-- Requiring car shoppers to create an account and log in before receiving pricing information.
TrueCar is also establishing a Dealer Council in an attempt to create better relations with their dealer partners and create a channel through which to monitor dealer feedback.
It was difficult for TrueCar to grasp how much it would need to change and how much failure to change would damage the firm. Eventually, they did come around to adopt sweeping reforms. Now it will be interesting to watch the reactions of dealers and trainers. For some, these changes will eliminate the concerns brought on over the past few months. For others, the changes will not eliminate all concerns but may calm them enough to consider using the service or at least enough to stop complaining publicly about it. There may even be some for whom these changes are not sufficient, indeed no change would ever be sufficient. Nearly 147 years after the end of the Civil War, the confederate flag still proudly flies over hundreds of homes; it would be foolish to think that any changes at TrueCar could be capable of satisfying everyone.
The questions for individual dealers are, "Are the changes enough to stop complaining? Are they enough to start buying?"