Third-party vehicle listings site TrueCar is introducing new shopping tools and a rebranded identity designed to win over consumers with more personalization and flexibility.
The Santa Monica, Calif., company flipped the switch on the updates last week. Interim CEO Mike Darrow told Automotive News that it's the first product update TrueCar has rolled out in at least three years and follows the rebuild of internal technology that will speed up future development. The investment amount was not disclosed, but TrueCar's moves come on the heels of steady quarterly losses in recent years.
"We have plans to return to growth in 2020," Darrow said, "and we think the new product and the rebranding of the platform will lead us in that direction."
Shoppers on TrueCar now will find improved vehicle price ratings and algorithm updates intended to provide more targeted results, Darrow said, as well as improved vehicle searches. In addition, TrueCar now will allow shoppers to choose which and how many dealerships to connect with about a particular vehicle, rather than TrueCar making the selection automatically.
The rebranding campaign includes a refreshed logo and website, as well as new creative and the first significant advertising change in five years, according to TrueCar. Darrow said the new campaign is geared in particular at attracting more millennial and female car buyers, adding that he felt the advertising for TrueCar and its rival listings sites had become too similar.
The new ads began to appear last week, the company said. They will run on multiple channels, including TV, YouTube and social media.
Darrow teased the new shopping tools and brand campaign in November during TrueCar's third-quarter earnings call. The company added dealership clients in the third quarter, but revenue dropped as its net loss increased compared with the same period a year earlier.
Darrow declined last week to disclose the cost of the rebranding campaign and product update prior to its next earnings report.