TrueCar pilots new online buying feature, posts $6.8M Q3 loss

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Vehicle listings company TrueCar Inc. is testing its TrueCar+ automotive marketplace, which the company says will enable an end-to-end purchase, from choosing a vehicle through delivery, within its platform.
The pilot began in Florida with a select group of dealerships, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company said Wednesday in a letter to shareholders. TrueCar did not immediately disclose how many dealerships are participating in the pilot, but company leaders said in the letter that they are “confident that we will formally launch TrueCar+ in the first quarter of 2022.”
“We believe TrueCar+ is unique because it will offer a true, end-to-end car-buying experience,” CEO Mike Darrow told analysts on a call Thursday. “Once they identify a vehicle, consumers will be able to complete each key step of the car-buying and -selling journey within the TrueCar+ environment.
“This means they’ll be able to build a personalized deal that includes a trade-in, arrange for financing, complete their purchase and take delivery, all from the convenience of their home.”
TrueCar executives have said the marketplace company is exploring ways to bring more transactional capabilities to its traditional listings business, including an integration with digital retailing platform Roadster and development of its own in-house tool. The company said consumers who use TrueCar+ will be able to select a vehicle, set up financing, choose vehicle protection products, finish the transaction and arrange delivery within the platform.
“Dealers will be able to establish a strong digital presence at a fraction of the cost of building one themselves and quickly offer digital capabilities that consumers have come to expect in other parts of retail,” the company said in its shareholders letter.
TrueCar also released the ability for consumers to pre-qualify for financing in the third quarter and said the expected launch of a home delivery pilot and a new “Sell Your Car” feature should come in the fourth quarter.
TrueCar also reported Wednesday that revenue declined in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, which the company attributed to the new-vehicle inventory shortage. TrueCar also swung to a net loss in the quarter, compared with a net profit in the same period a year earlier.

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