SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New-car pricing has frustrated car buyers for decades. TrueCar (http://www.truecar.com), which debuted at TechCrunch50, demystifies new-car pricing for the first time, and for all time -- by letting consumers know exactly what others actually paid for their cars, in every region across the country.
TrueCar is a free online interactive tool that brings objective, transparent pricing to auto retailing. TrueCar not only shows buyers four specific pricing benchmarks – actual dealer cost, factory invoice, average price paid and MSRP or sticker price – but also displays the full range of prices people have actually paid.
Most important, the aggregated data is presented in a visually appealing pricing curve that gives guidance well beyond the “average price paid” single number that has become the industry’s status quo. TrueCar clearly shows the buyer what should be considered a good price, a great price and over-priced for the specific car he or she is researching. Unlike other sources of new-car pricing data that sell leads to dealers, by design TrueCar does not connect buyers with dealers; it’s an independent and unbiased source of pricing guidance.
“With TrueCar it’s all about the curve,” said Scott Painter, TrueCar founder and auto industry pioneer. “TrueCar provides authoritative, unimpeachable data and puts that information into context to make it meaningful, so that buyers will know exactly the price of a good or great deal. It’s an objective information source that takes the promise of the new online car buying paradigm to the next level. No one else has the depth and range of data we have assembled.
“This has been a personal mission for me for a long time. Our team has been in the business of using technology to improve car buying for several years – beginning with CarsDirect.com and continuing with Zag and its unique online platform that relies on upfront pricing. TrueCar is the next logical step in our march toward total transparency in auto retail.”
TrueCar aggregates data from dozens of sources – many of them proprietary and exclusive to TrueCar. TrueCar’s pricing data is currently calculated using roughly a quarter of all individual U.S. retail transactions per month. The company expects to expand that to close to half of all U.S. retail transactions by the end of the year.
TrueCar will offer its pricing tool free to anyone who wants it – large online portals, smaller niche communities and individual websites. Its primary goal is to distribute the data free to all consumers and dealers in as many places as possible. The tool will be widely available in early 2009.
For consumers, the benefits are obvious: they’ll never overpay again and enjoy a better overall buying experience. They’ll be able to walk into the dealership fully informed.
For dealers, TrueCar’s real-time, unbiased information about marketplace pricing will help them know how to price their cars to sell more and gain market share from other dealers.
“TrueCar is great for dealers,” said Painter. “In fact, we created TrueCar in direct response to the dealer’s need for accurate information on market demand. How to price a new car typically has been a subjective exercise for dealers. But now we’re showing them exactly how the market is moving, and they’ll be able to identify the place on the pricing curve that will help them increase volume while maintaining their margins. It’s a rich source of market intelligence.”
What Sets TrueCar Apart?
Existing automotive pricing websites rely on the Big Three: MSRP, factory invoice and average price paid, where the average is based on basic algorithms and interpretation. TrueCar includes those plus actual dealer cost (which is not the same as invoice). Nobody else is sharing dealer cost, and nobody else is giving transparency to actual sales transactions, in part due to existing business model constraints. TrueCar has no dealer compensation relationships, so it’s able to be unbiased and impartial.
The heart of TrueCar’s innovation is how it displays its data. Every price report includes an interactive price distribution curve graphic that clearly lays out what is considered a good price, a great price and over-priced. In addition, TrueCar will give consumers multiple ways to view the data, including a bar chart, histogram (actual bucketed data), and a historical index of transaction prices over time so consumers can see how pricing has shifted over time.
Founded in 2007 by leading technology blog TechCrunch and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, the TechCrunch50 conference provides a platform for earlystage, and frequently unfunded, companies to launch for the first time to the technology industry’s most influential venture capitalists, corporations, angel investors, fellow entrepreneurs and the international media. Companies are selected to participate exclusively on merit. TechCrunch50 is supported by corporate sponsors Google, Microsoft, MySpace and Yahoo!, as well as venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, Mayfield Fund, Clearstone Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Founders Fund and Fenwick & West.
TrueCar (www.truecar.com) is the authority on new-car pricing. It aggregates multiple data sources to show car buyers and dealers how much people actually paid for a particular car in their geographic area. It is offered online, free of charge – so anyone can know at any time what is considered a good or great price. Consumers no longer walk into the dealership only partially informed and fully suspicious: they walk in knowing exactly the price of a fair deal. Dealers gain real-time, unbiased information about marketplace pricing, helping them know how to price their cars to sell more and gain market share from other dealers. Founded by automotive and technology pioneers Scott Painter and Tom Taira, TrueCar is based in Santa Monica, Calif.