The dispute between TrueCar Inc. and AutoNation Inc. took a bitter turn Friday after the car-shopping website alleged the giant auto retailer has been underreporting sales generated by TrueCar leads.
In an email to Automotive News, TrueCar said AutoNation has not been providing enough data about transactions and customers to enable TrueCar to confirm how many sales its website and other platforms were generating.
“As a result, we believe they materially underreported sales,” TrueCar said in the email.
TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter, in an interview, maintained the crux of the conflict is over how many of AutoNation’s sales are attributable to TrueCar.
AutoNation has said about 3 percent of its vehicle sales stem from TrueCar -- or about 16,500 of the 550,000 new and used light vehicles it delivers annually. In a May 23 letter to AutoNation, TrueCar said it believes “at least 7 percent” of AutoNation’s first-quarter sales were generated by the shopping website. Annualized, that would be at least 38,500 transactions.