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    Q1 2015

    New Products & Services


    Mark Cuban knows how to win (and tells us)

    DEALER SPOTLIGHT:Costa Mesa Nissan


    Q1 2015


    Car Buying Goes Mobile Connect to customers wherever you are with TrueCars app

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    Q1 2015

    Table of Contents

    5Ask KenKen Potter, Vice President of Dealer Sales at TrueCar, shares key insights, tips, and advice based on his engagement with TrueCars 9000+ Certified Dealers.

    6 Products & FeaturesLearn about the latest TrueCar product innovations and newest features to aid you and your consumers during the car buying process.

    12 FEATURE STORYHow to Win: An Interview with Mark Cuban, entrepreneur extraordinaire

    16 Dealer Spotlight: Costa Mesa NissanKen Heinsohn of Costa Mesa Nissan shares what he has learned in his 20+ years of experience in the automotive industry.

    19 Infographic: Gasoline prices drive vehicle type preference


    in every issueLetters to the Editor

    TrueCar Marketing

    Dealer Milestones


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  • 3

    Q1 2015

    Letter from the Editor

    Dear TrueCar Dealer Partner,

    TrueCar and our Dealer partners had an incredibly successful year in 2014, with 600,000 vehicles sold to TrueCar users and the Dealer network growing to almost 10,000 TrueCar Certified Dealers.

    Were looking to continue this momentum in 2015 with $50 million budgeted for technology and product development and a plan to spend $100 million allocated to marketing. We have also listened to the feedback we received in 2014 and have significantly increased our investment in Dealer support and training staff to better meet your needs.

    Our investment in marketing, the website and mobile experience, Dealer tools, and Dealer support is designed to allow in-market buyers to connect with Certified Dealers that provide a better car buying experience. The result for your Dealership is increased sales at a cost that is roughly 50% below industry average.

    Were excited to share our Q1 plans with you in our new quarterly newsletter. These plans include:

    New products and features including TrueCar mobile apps and advanced Dealer pricing tools

    New Dealer Certification content on the Dealer Portal

    Insight into our upcoming TV, radio, and digital marketing campaigns on

    Partner marketing and promotion of the Car Buying Service across our network of 450+ Partners

    Lastly, TrueCar will be at NADA (booth 5018W). Please stop by to see demos of our new products or to meet with the TrueCar Dealer Team.

    As always, thank you for your continued support and partnership.

    Mike TimmonsSVP, TrueCar Dealer Development

    Letter from the Editor

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    Q1 2015

    Letters to the Editor

    I see TrueCar doing more and more advertising. What are TrueCars plans for 2015 and will my Dealership be competing with TrueCars advertising in the future?Weve been amazed by the success of TrueCars advertising, especially TV and radio. Online businesses normally start advertising online and over time slowly move to TV and radio. TrueCar did the opposite and almost immediately we found great success with TV and radio and our return on investment is better on these traditional channels than Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). As a result, TrueCars advertising budget in 2015 will be around $100 million and most will be spent on TV and radio. We expect this will generate a huge volume of sales for the TrueCar Dealer Network.

    Most importantly, TrueCars advertising doesnt compete with your advertising. TrueCar avoids going head-to-head with traditional Dealer advertising and has a policy to never use a Dealers brand name in SEM.

    In December 2014, TrueCar launched a new series of TV commercials focused on themes like the new Price Check mobile feature and the very personal experience of owning a car. This new positioning is important as it aligns the customers desire for a fair, simple, and fun car buying experience with the commitment of our great network of Dealer partners to a better car buying experience This is the way car buying was always meant to be.

    Lucas Donat, Chief Marketing Officer

    As a TrueCar Dealer, what can I do to advertise that I am a Certified Dealer?

    Weve had many Dealers ask if they can use the TrueCar logo on their website or in the store. Were pleased to let you know that in the near future TrueCar will have Dealer

    Marketing Kits available. The purpose of these kits is to help your Dealership leverage the TrueCar brand with both TrueCar customers and walk-in traffic. The kits are likely to include window signage, pens and work pads for Internet Sales staff, and a few other cool things. Shortly after, we plan to release a digital marketing kit for your website. These will be provided to you at no cost. Of course the Marketing Kits will only be for use by active TrueCar Dealers in good standing that have completed the new Dealer Certification training.

    Lucas Donat, CMO

    I want to show my Dealerships ratings and reviews to TrueCar customers. What are your plans to allow me to show my reviews to customers?We want to promote your success, delivering excellent customer service to TrueCar introductions from our programs and sites including USAA, AAA, Consumer Reports, GEICO, and In particular, we want to capture and share specific feedback about your front-line folks who play a huge part in the success of the program. However, we also recognize that its important to avoid the gaming that sometimes occurs with traditional reviews and avoid the impact that a recent negative review can have.

    TrueCar currently surveys everyone using the service, and well start collecting specific feedback about customers experiences with salespeople. In Q1 well be sharing the questions and customer feedback with you so both TrueCar and your Dealership can understand what customers are saying and what we can do together to ensure a great customer experience. Once weve learned what drives great customer experiences, we hope to start leveraging your positive TrueCar reviews and feedback with customers (before then, nothing will be shown to customers). Well be in touch

    with your Dealership at each step of the process be on the lookout for more information.

    Tom Taira, Chief Product Officer

    I read that TrueCar is going to invest $50 million in Product and Technology enhancements in 2015. How will this benefit my Dealership?

    Our key investments in 2015 are focused on improving the customer buying experience and the Dealership selling experience. On the Dealer side, our significant areas of investment will be in mobile and Dealer tools to help improve CSI scores and close rates, and to enable you to make better decisions to hit your profit and margin goals.

    With mobile, we want to move customers away from paper certificates and have their smartphone guide them through the car buying experience at your store. This will help overcome possible customer and Dealer frustrations allowing you to focus on customer service and delivering a better experience.

    For Dealer tools, well focus on two main areas. First, we want to improve your ability to communicate with customers. This will include collecting and sharing more customer information and data with you and launching new tools, such as the Dealer Communication Service, to leverage this customer information and create more impactful customer communication aimed at improving your close rates. Second, we intend to improve existing tools related to pricing, margin analysis, and managing sales volume. You will start to see these tools rolling out in Q1 (see the TrueMarket Optimizer on page 7 of this Newsletter) with much more to come throughout the year.

    Tom Taira, CPO

    Letters to the Editor

    Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Send your questions, comments, praise, or concerns to

  • 5

    Q1 2015

    Ask Ken

    Ask KenKen shares a key insight in each newsletter from his meetings with 9,000+ Certified Dealers.

    Q: If you could give one best practice that will help my Dealership sell more cars, what would it be?

    A: The starting point to success on the TrueCar program is to understand the customer experience that leads TrueCar customers to your Dealership.

    When your TrueCar customer first begins the process of building out a vehicle on, they go through a fundamentally different experience than those using traditional lead-gen sources. This different experience results in customers that are deeper in funnel and more ready to buy when they contact you. Understanding this difference gives you the opportunity to better mee