Car-shopping website TrueCar Inc. posted a first-quarter loss of $11.7 million, up slightly from $11.6 million, as the company expanded its roster of dealers and had a hand in more transactions.
Revenue increased 6 percent to $61.9 million during the first quarter as TrueCar users bought 174,982 cars through participating dealerships, an increase of 4 percent.
The company said 9,281 franchises, 29 percent of the U.S. market, were using TrueCar at the end of the first quarter of 2016, up from 9,094 at the end of the previous quarter. TrueCar lost nearly 600 dealers during a single quarter last summer, falling to a low of 8,702 at the end of the third quarter.
During an earnings call Thursday, TrueCar CEO Chip Perry said the company has worked to improve relationships with dealers by offering VIN-based presentations of real cars in inventory, redesigning TrueCar’s data policies and creating a new monthly subscription payment model.
He said TrueCar plans to run a pilot of the subscription model in Georgia and roll it out across the country later this year.
TrueCar also is changing its marketing to be more “balanced.” As one change, Perry said, TrueCar will stop using the phrase “never overpay” in messages to consumers, which dealers argued gave the impression they were overcharging customers.
“It’ll take some time before any of this translates into concrete financial improvements,” Perry said, “but I feel confident we’ve laid the foundations for future growth.”