TrueCar to unveil Sales Analyzer at convention debut

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NEW ORLEANS -- Online car-shopping service TrueCar, continuing its effort to be dealer friendly, will have a booth on the convention floor for the first time.

The booth's staff will include Larry Dominique, executive vice president of industry solutions, and Stewart Easterby, executive vice president of dealer development.

TrueCar CEO Scott Painter likely will not attend because he is at the final days of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which overlaps with the convention, a spokesman said.

TrueCar will unveil a product, called Sales Analyzer, which will be rolled out to its dealer partners in 2014. Sales Analyzer will enable dealers to compare their pricing with the rest of the local market, create custom pricing reports for their dealership, analyze where customers came from and how they were influenced to come to the dealership. TrueCar says the software also will compare sales results from TrueCar customers with those coming from other Internet vendors.

TrueCar also is contributing to the Wounded Warrior Project, raising funds for wounded military service members and their families. TrueCar will contribute matching funds to any donations from dealers at the convention, up to an aggregate of $25,000, a spokesman said.

TrueCar says it has more than doubled the number of its participating franchises since a 2012, when regulators challenged whether TrueCar was violating advertising and consumer laws in several states.

The regulators acted after numerous car dealers and their associations in several states complained about the cutthroat vehicle prices that TrueCar helped fetch for consumers by getting dealerships to bid competitively for the buyers.

In the months it took to come into compliance in all states and end dealer bidding wars for customers, TrueCar almost went out of business. It said it posted a net loss of $75 million in 2012. TrueCar has since updated its business model to give dealers more pricing support, while still giving car shoppers a modicum of negotiating power.

TrueCar is in Booth 6619.

David Barkholz contributed to this report.

You can reach Mark Rechtin at mrechtin@crain.com. -- Follow Mark on Twitter


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