TrueCar is launching a vehicle-buying partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union, whose 10 million members nearly rival the size of a key partnership that ended last year.
TrueCar, of Santa Monica, Calif., disclosed the arrangement with Navy Federal in early February in a regulatory filing, close to a year after the vehicle listings company said its 13-year revenue-sharing partnership with USAA Federal Savings Bank would wind down. TrueCar CEO Mike Darrow told Automotive News on Monday that the Navy Federal partnership went live last week.
Navy Federal will represent a significant partnership for TrueCar, which called the deal both an avenue for growth and a sign of resilience after a year disrupted by both the wind-down of the USAA program and the coronavirus pandemic.
The USAA vehicle-buying program ended Sept. 30. It represented close to 30 percent of the vehicles sold to buyers who connect through TrueCar's network, the company said this week.
Darrow said TrueCar received an inquiry from Navy Federal last year at about the same time USAA said it planned to discontinue a car-buying program for its more than 13 million members. Navy Federal was "certainly a welcome inbound for us as we began to restrategize how we were going to continue to service this military community," Darrow added.
"They talk about clearly seeing the movement of their services to a digital environment, and the opportunity to do that on the car-buying service was important to them," he said. "In less than a year, our partner team was able to pull together a relationship with them, so it was really exciting for us."
Navy Federal's 10 million members represent U.S. Department of Defense and Coast Guard active service personnel, veterans and families. It has 344 branches around the world and counted $136.5 billion in assets as of Jan. 31.
Vehicle buyers under the Navy Federal partnership will be able to access TrueCar's online platform, at-home services from participating dealers, as much as $4,000 in reimbursements for repairs and auto deductible payments and a dedicated hotline.
"From personalized pricing and price comparisons in your local area to transparent online car valuation, this partnership is another great way we can help our members find the best vehicle that fits their financial lifestyle," Joe Pendergast, vice president of consumer lending at Navy Federal Credit Union, said in a statement.
The agreement with Navy Federal includes a revenue-sharing deal based on vehicles sold through participating dealers, Darrow said. TrueCar has not yet factored revenue from the Navy Federal partnership into its 2021 financial projections, he added, though executives anticipate it will represent growth.
In May, TrueCar introduced TrueCar Military, a vehicle-buying program for military service members, veterans and their families. Darrow said he envisions the expanded military program as a way to reach a wider audience of an estimated 40 million consumers.