Jay Ku is relatively new to the automotive industry. Roughly nine months ago, he joined TrueCar, one of the industry’s leading online marketplaces for new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles. Today, Ku is the Chief Revenue Officer for the company, but prior to that, he spent decades working in performance and digital marketing for consumer goods.
Recently, CBT News anchor Jim Fitzpatrick had the opportunity to speak with Ku at the 2023 Digital Dealer conference. The pair discussed how TrueCar is elevating innovation and creating positive movement for stakeholders in retail automotive.
1. Earlier this year, TrueCar made some significant changes to its leadership team, particularly in the C-suite. Ku explains that these changes align with the future direction of the company. One of TrueCar’s primary focuses is on fully realizing its capabilities as a two-sided marketplace (a platform that brings together two groups of users to create and exchange value). Enter TrueCar Plus, which provides consumers more flexible and personalized car buying experiences using end-to-end, online transaction flows. One of the primary segments that has gained a lot of traction through this platform is consumers with FICO scores below 620.
2. From Ku’s perspective, the holy grail when it comes to eCommerce is finding the right partners to help maximize lifetime customer value. TrueCar’s Affinity partner network allows dealers to build deep connections with over 550 auto-buying sites, including nationwide membership programs, leading insurance providers, and military organizations among others. These channels allow dealers to connect and create lasting, transparent relationships with their customers.
3. One of the biggest opportunities Ku sees for TrueCar in the next 12 months is developing solutions to bridge gaps between dealers and OEMs. Because of TrueCar’s relationships with OEMs, they are able to offer specialized incentives on vehicles and drive more revenue for dealers. The company is also focused on helping dealers leverage data to optimize their marketing efforts at a local level.
"I believe that our purpose in the industry, is to be a true two-sided marketplace, where we support the dealer in driving revenue across the board for them. ... Our number one job is to get people into the right car as quickly as possible." - Jay Ku