TrueCar Launches Dealer Council

Santa Monica-based TrueCar, the online car purchasing firm headed by Scott Painter, is further ramping up its outreach to dealers, saying this morning that it has formed a new "National Dealer Council" which will work with experienced dealers to recommend and improve collaboration between the company and auto dealers. TrueCar said the council will be led by Gary Marcotte, former Senior Vice President of Marketing and eCommerce at AutoNation. The new council looks to be part of a concerted push by TrueCar to smooth things over with the auto dealership industry, which has bristled at the pricing pressure that TrueCar's service has exerted on their operations. TrueCar's auto purchasing services---which powers auto buying programs for such groups as USAA, a number of AAA buying programs, and other similar programs--in addition to its transparent pricing information services, have ruffled some dealer feathers, even spurring some legal challenges and a pricing change at the company. TrueCar said its new council has 21 members, represent 25 states, 36 unique makes and 310 franchises.