TrueCar, an online new- and used-car marketplace, is pivoting its focus back to the company’s original mission, digital retailing, with an eye toward incorporating preapprovals, VP of Strategic Initiatives Alain Nana-Sinkam told Auto Finance News.
TrueCar in the last year has made it possible for customers to obtain an up-front trade-in estimate and calculate monthly payments on its website, “based on actual lender programs with input from the dealer in their finance department,” Nana-Sinkam said.
“Our initial mission was to promote transparency in automotive pricing, and … the ability to put that price in the context of what other people in that market were paying for that same vehicle,” Nana-Sinkam noted. “As we’ve developed that, we’ve certainly recognized that, when you unpack a car deal, there are multiple components of it that consumers need to understand. Price is certainly chief among them.”
Price, however, isn’t just the sticker price on a car window, but can be thought of as a “three-legged stool” that factors in trade-in values, monthly payments and retail price, Nana-Sinkam added.
Preapproval must also be part of the company’s strategy to accommodate customers wanting to buy cars online, he said. The goal is to “take that monthly payment calculation that you see when you’re shopping for vehicles and turn it into ultimately approved terms that you can sign for.”
TrueCar earlier this month announced the sale of its data analytics subsidiary ALG to J.D. Power as it focuses on its core business in an effort to transform the marketplace “into a comprehensive and flexible end-to-end car buying solution that allows consumers to build as much or as little of their deal online as fits their preferences,” TrueCar spokeswoman Shadee Malekafzali previously told AFN.
— Additional reporting by Joey Pizzolato.
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