I like TrueCar. I have used the service myself, and recommended it here before. So, I was sorry to read that they are being forced out of Group 1. My vision of Online F&I, in a nutshell, is that customers will someday desk their own deals. That’s why I applaud AutoNation for their persistent efforts to move away from the antiquated “secret pricing” approach.
Group 1 had also been in the vanguard, but now Honda is pressuring them to drop the TrueCar relationship. The comments from Honda remind me of some I heard way back when MSRP data first appeared on the internet. “Unacceptable,” stormed Herr Heitmann, “must be stopped!” Meanwhile, Edmunds was already publishing our invoice prices.
Of course, as an e-commerce guy, I am biased. You can’t just say information wants to be free, to an angry factory exec – or a struggling GSM. Except that it’s true. Transaction prices, like invoice and MSRP, are going to be out there. We might as well get used to it.