Careers at TrueCar

Mission

Truecar operates an online vehicle-buying platform that allows dealers to sell new and used cars at discounted prices to customers either via the Truecar website at www.truecar.com or through a number of affinity groups. It also enables consumers to sell their own vehicles online.

History

Truecar was founded in 2005 by Tom Taira (“Taira”), Bernie Brenner (“Brenner”), Oded Noy (“Noy”), Jim Nguyen (“Nguyen”), and Scott Painter (“Painter”) under ZAG brand. The Company was developed with a view to providing an accurate pricing information and analysis portal that assists automotive dealers and consumers in making informed buying decisions. ZAG initially functioned as a provider of auto-buying programs for affinity groups, with Truecar operating as a separate but related entity concerning price monitoring. The two companies ultimately merged to form Truecar as it exists today.

Throughout the mid-to-late 2000s Truecar’s business grew significantly. In 2010 it was ranked one of the fastest growing companies in LA by LA Business and in 2011 the Company acquired automotive data company ALG for $83 million and automobile social networking site Honk for an undisclosed amount. In May 2014 Truecar raised $70 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing the Company at $639 million.

Benefits at TrueCar

Business model of TrueCar

Customer Segments

Truecar serves both consumers that wish to buy or sell cars and car dealerships that wish to expand their reach across the public. Through its affinity programs, the Company also provides vehicles to a number of large businesses, including Fortune 500 companies.

Truecar is particularly useful to consumers who are inexperienced in the new and used car market and do not have technical knowhow. Its convenience also attracts a number of users who do not have the time or resources to sell their vehicle privately.

Value Propositions

For consumers Truecar provides a free and convenient platform through which car prices can be searched and compared on a regional basis. This includes a broad range of vehicles and brands all of which can be searched from the Company’s desktop or mobile websites and mobile apps.

Truecar provides detailed information regarding the price paid for certain makes and models of cars in a given area and, where available, estimating prices for a preferred make or model of a car from among Truecar’s dealer network.

Consumers using the Truecar platform are typically able to find a cheaper price than they would when searching independently.

For dealers, Truecar provides support and access to a network of affiliate marketers, increasing their market reach at minimal up front cost.

Channels

Truecar’s online marketplace can be accessed via its website at www.truecar.com. The Company also has two iOS and Google Play apps: Truecar Mobile and Truecar Sell. Truecar Mobile allows users to track trends in prices for various models of car, while Truecar Sell allows users to list their car for sale and view offers made on their vehicle.

Dealers also have access to the Truecar Dealer Portal via the Truecar website that enables dealers to manage their relationship with the Company.

Customer Relationships

Truecar’s platform is available as a self-service model, with searches and comparison available to users after registration is complete. Some searches can also be completed without a registration.

Once a transaction is entered, users are required to interact with the relevant dealers but are not required to deal directly with Truecar itself.

In order to join the Truecar dealer network, dealers must contact the Company directly and discuss terms with a company representative. Management of Truecar’s dealer relationships require ongoing personal care.

Key Activities

Truecar develops and maintains an online platform for the sale of new and used cars via a network of dealerships across the US. The Company also collects and analyses data pertaining to car prices and buying trends across its network of dealers, which it provides to its customers enabling them to make more informed buying decisions.

Truecar also participates in a number of affinity buying networks which help to extend the reach of individual dealers and provide consumers with a greater degree of choice and variety.

Key Partners

Truecar partners with numerous companies across a variety of sectors as part of its Affinity Auto Buying Programs, which sees the Company employ a number of affinity marketing partners. Truecar lists more than 650 affiliate partners on its website, including Fortune 500 companies, banks, credit unions, insurance companies, member organisations, online publishers and online marketplaces. Among Truecar’s affinity partners are auto club AAA, online retailer Sam’s Club, credit provider American Express, car insurer GEICO, and news and media outlet US News.

Truecar also partners more than 6000 car dealership franchises across the US, through which it makes its sales. The Company’s dealer network is overseen by Truecar’s National Dealer Council which comprises representatives from 19 leading dealerships, including Hendrick Automotive Group, Stanley Auto Group and Pohanka Auto Group.

Key Resources

Truecar’s key resources are its IT infrastructure, including its proprietary technology and software platform, its affinity marketing partners, its dealers and its personnel. There are a number of patent applications registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office in Truecar’s name.

This notably includes applications for a ‘Method and System for Selection, Filtering or Presentation of Available Outlets’, ‘Sales Analyser Systems and Methods’ and ‘Systems and Methods for Vehicle Purchase Recommendations’.

Truecar’s network of dealers, through which it makes sales, are also crucial to the Company’s activities, as are its personnel who manage the Company’s various partnerships.

Cost Structure

Truecar incurs costs primarily through the management of its partnerships and the maintenance and development of its platform and technology.

The Company’s sales and marketing and research and development teams accrue substantial costs, as does the upkeep of Truecar’s server space and data centres.

Revenue Streams

Truecar generates revenue on a transaction basis, taking payment from dealers every time a new or used car is sold through the Truecar platform. The Company reportedly charges its dealers $299 for every sale of a new vehicle and $399 for every sale of a used vehicle.

Truecar also sells sales leads to dealers, using transaction data and buying trends analysed across its network of dealerships. This allows analysis of how specific models of car are selling and more accurate market information to be shared.

In 2015 Truecar generated just under $260 million in revenue and sales.

Our team

Tom Taira,
Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

info: Tom has served as Truecar’s Chief Product Officer since 2010. Following the Company’s establishment as ZAG in 2005, he served as Chief Strategy Officer before serving as the Company’s President from 2006 to 2009. Taira has worked within the US automotive industry since 1997, when he joined Toyota Motor Sales USA as part of its Product Planning and eBusiness Strategy Division. In 2000 he was appointed a director of Build-To-Order, an automotive manufacturing company that provides built-to-order vehicles directly to consumers. He left this role to join interactive agency Proxicom where he served as a client partner and product strategist within its automotive arm.   

Bernie Brenner,
Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer

info: Bernie has served as Truecar’s Chief Strategy Officer since 2015, having previously spent ten years as the Company’s Executive Vice President. He also serves as Founding Chairman of ThanksABunch.org, which collects contributions for military veterans. Prior to co-founding Truecar, Brenner held a number of roles, primarily within the technology sector. He began his career in 1990 as a national promotions manager at MCA Records. In 1992 he founded 1-800-CAR-SEARCH, an early car search service, and served as the company’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Development until founding Promisemark in 1997. After six years as Chief Executive and Chairman of Promisemark, Brenner joined Carfax as Vice President of Business Development, his last role before co-founding Truecar.     

Jim Nguyen,
Co-Founder and General Manager

info: Jim has served as Truecar’s Executive Vice President and General Manager since 2016, after stepping down as the Company’s Head of Partner Development. He has also previously served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. Nguyen has held a number of financial roles, including within the automotive sector. He began his career in 1991 as a senior auditor at Deloitte and Touche, where he spent three years before joining Toyota’s Strategic Planning Department in 1994. Nguyen joined Taira at Build-To-Order in 1999, serving as the Company’s Director of Finance, ultimately leaving the company in 2001 to assume the role of Chief Financial Officer at The Goetzman Group. His final role before co-founding Truecar was as Director of Finance at ePolicy Solutions.

Scott Painter,
Co-Founder and Former Chief Executive Officer

info: Scott served as Truecar’s Chief Executive Officer from its inception until the end of 2015. He currently serves as a co-founder and director of California-based incubator Brighthouse. Prior to co-founding Truecar, Painter held roles with a number of companies, including Build-To-Order, Vision Incorporated, 1-800-CAR-SEARCH and CarsDirect.com.

Oded Noy,
Co-Founder and Former Chief Technology Officer

info: Oded stepped down as Truecar’s Chief Technology Officer in 2009. He has since co-founded several companies, including marketing and advertising firm Target Close, startup accelerator Amplify.la, and the LA CTO Forum. Prior to co-founding Truecar Noy was a fighter pilot in the Israeli military.

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