Now that John Krafcik is on the TrueCar Inc. board of directors and the company has announced plans for an initial public offering of stock, the former CEO of Hyundai Motor America says he's eager to start talking with dealers.
Krafcik, 52, said last week that he planned over the weekend to talk directly with dealers to get their input to help shape the company's direction.
In TrueCar's public filing, the company said it intends to roll out new products that will help shoppers with trade-ins, loans and leases in addition to its current business of helping them with vehicle pricing.
TrueCar.com is a car-buying site that provides consumers with a guaranteed price on a vehicle from competing dealers in a geographic market.
A TrueCar study not yet published shows that TrueCar's 7,500 participating franchisees may have room to raise vehicle prices on the online car-buying service.
About 3,000 respondents pegged a fair profit on a new $30,000 vehicle at 12 percent, or $3,600, while the average industry gross profit on such a car is about 4 percent, or $1,140.
"Dealers have a tremendous opportunity," Krafcik said. "The data will set you free."
In most of the 50 states where TrueCar operates, dealers pay TrueCar $299 for each new car sold to a TrueCar customer and $399 for each used car.
Krafcik said he agreed to join the TrueCar board because he saw in the company a convergence of auto retailing, technology and data. He left Hyundai at year end.
Krafcik lives in Southern California and he said he expected to speak with dealers this weekend as a member of the TrueCar board's operating committee.
His appointment was made just one day before TrueCar announced its intent to raise up to $125 million in an IPO to finance growth and roll out new products.