The THING about

As you have probably noticed since yesterday, stopped posting the dealer cost and factory invoice pricing on their website for some of you. From what I understand, this was not done “across the board”. Per my email communication with a TrueCar representative, here is what’s going on:

We have hidden the Dealer Cost and Invoice information on our pricing curve due to regulatory issues in several states, but the features should be available again in most states as early as next week.

In addition, she also said…

For those located in located in VA, TX, MD, CO, WA, OK, OR, NE or LA, we are working through certain features of our site with regulators and hope to be able to provide the more robust version of our curve soon.

So there you have it! It looks like a “temporary issue”. This goes back to that Twitter post I made yesterday ( about how some local agencies are having issues with the “price guarantee”, which was replaced by “market price” not too long ago.

In response to the’s article I posted, I think there’s some truth to what’s happening with TrueCar. However, I do not think that the January decline mentioned in the article is a prediction of TrueCar’s future. I too received a noticeable decline in viewership and referrals which I attribute to the fact that months of January and February are typically HORRIBLE months for auto deals. Most people do take advantage of the DEALS during the holiday season, so buying cars (after spending a fortune on gifts) isn’t really in the cards for most people.

If I had to predict TrueCar’s future, here is what I think is going to happen…

TrueCar will continue to provide useful information to consumers in the short run. There will be some legal issues they need to work through, but I think the bulk the of the push back isn’t going to come from city and state regulators, but from dealers. Dealers profit by keeping consumers ” in the dark” and TrueCar’s business model seems to irritate dealers and manufacturers because it cuts into their profits. I suspect there will be a lot of pressure from dealers and manufacturers which will affect TrueCar’s business model. After all, we buy our cars from dealers, not TrueCar.

5 thoughts on “The THING about

  1. i’ve used truecar as a research tool. i’m not sure it helped much more then providing some idea of where the price should be. the guaranteed price feature was useless. when shopping for my sonata, trucar’s best price was more then 100 miles away. no problem for the advertised savings. when i called to confirm before making the trek they refused to honor the price. i complained to truecar and they called the dealer who assured us they would indeed honor the price. when i insisted on all the details of the lease they were using dealer fees to add back in the savings advertised. i elected to pass on the sale and made my purchase closer to home

    • I agree. TrueCar works great as a research tool. I’ve been negotiating a lease for my sister and I’ve been getting similar (some times better) numbers to those being offered by TrueCar’s “best price”. I don’t think it hurts to use their service, but you just have to be mindful that their “best price” isn’t always going to be the “best price” you can get.

    • I noticed that the invoice pricing had disappeared a few days ago. Luckily I had it from last week and was able to go into the dealership and get a Honda CR-V EX-L with AWD for 27,200. Also somewhere they mentioned I believe that the destination fee was part of the invoice pricing and so I threw that one out there and told them I was not paying for it separately. I have to say that for my first time buying a car (my father-in-law was a GM at a Chevy dealership for a long time and we just basically ordered what we wanted) that TrueCar helped me get a really great deal. I hope they can go back to what they had before because we shouldn’t be shafted price-wise because we don’t have all the information and the dealerships do. Trust me, they are still making money!

  2. Looking for a Subaru Forester and TrueCar provided MSRP, Market Avg. Factory Invoice and Dealer Cost (minus holdbacks, etc…), yet ONLY state by state.

    – Oregon & Washington – (No)
    – California & Montana – (Yes)

    Obviously there may be slight differences, but if TrueCar doesn’t offer the info for your state, simply use a zip for one that it does. Same car different color had the same numbers across the states, so still a great resource IMHO.

    • that’s true. If all you really need is the dealer cost and invoice pricing. That’s a good “work around”.

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