SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The percentage of TrueCar’s business comprised by used cars is up.
And that’s no accident. Nor is it simply a market function.
“If you look at our business over the past couple of years, you’ve seen used cars grow every quarter,” TrueCar president and chief executive officer Chip Perry said during the company’s quarterly conference call on Thursday.
“What we’ve been doing is both enhancing the quality of the listings and the way in which they’re managed and presented to consumers, and we’ve also improved their access to them through our site and our various tools,” Perry said.
“So, I’d say it’s more a matter of us making changes that enable us to meet the needs of the used-car shoppers who happen to use TrueCar,” he said.
About 30 percent of TrueCar’s unit sales were from used cars in the first quarter.
Perry was responding to an analyst asking if gains in the percentage of TrueCar unit sales attributed to used cars was “by design” or a function of market dynamics (i.e. new car sales slowing, used sales potentially cannibalizing them, etc.).
TrueCar defines unit sales as “the number of automobiles purchased by our users from TrueCar Certified Dealers through TrueCar.com and our mobile applications or the car buying sites and mobile applications we maintain for our affinity group marketing partners.”
Granted, Perry said, TrueCar is primarily a new-car destination. But do the numbers: TrueCar gets more than 6 million monthly visitors. (In the first-quarter, there were 6.7 million average monthly visitors — that compares to 5.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, 6.6 million in Q3, 5.9 million in Q2 and 5.5 million in Q1 2015.)
With 2.5 to three times as many used-car sales a month industrywide as there are new-car sales, Perry said, “Naturally you’re going to attract a large number of used-car shoppers.
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