Krafcik at TrueCar: Hands-on, but not a full-time gig

Krafcik: “There is a need for more balance, and we want to give the dealers more tools.”
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LOS ANGELES -- John Krafcik’s role at TrueCar Inc. will be to help advise and consult the vehicle pricing and purchasing service, but it is not a full-time position.

As a member of TrueCar’s board of directors and operating committee, there will be hands-on work, “But it’s like an advising and consulting role,” Krafcik said.

His engagement at TrueCar emerges just as the company begins planning an initial public stock offering. Earlier today, TrueCar filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a stock offering that could raise up to $125 million.

In a telephone interview today, the former CEO of Hyundai Motor America said he is eager to help TrueCar use data-driven analysis to “to further the transparency between dealers and consumers … to overcome that trust gap.”

Krafcik said he wants “to change the disconnect between what consumers think dealers make on a new-car transaction and what they actually make.”

A recent TrueCar/Strategic Vision study showed consumers thought dealers made a gross margin of $5,400 on a $30,000 sale, compared to the $1,140 dealers actually make.

“There is a need for more balance, and we want to give the dealers more tools,” Krafcik said. “There is a natural affinity to this space between car and technology and data.”

In addition to his work with TrueCar, Krafcik also is consulting with other companies -- whom he declined to disclose -- which has him “with a pretty full dance card right now.”

That said, Krafcik said he is “always open to opportunities to help the industry, and move the industry forward.” In other words, he’s still available for a full-time gig at an automaker.

Asked whether he had wanted to stay on at Hyundai when his employment contract expired in December, Krafcik said: “I left on great terms with Hyundai and I am grateful for the 10 years I had with them. I had a great platform to make change at the company and in the industry.”

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


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