SANTA MONICA, Calif. May 3, 2011 – TrueCar, Inc., the automotive industry innovator in new- and used-car pricing, trends and forecasting, has announced the acquisition of leading automotive social media company Honk.com. News Corporation, which was an early investor in Honk.com, will retain an equity stake in TrueCar as part of the agreement. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
As part of the agreement, TrueCar will operate and manage the consumer auto-buying content and programs for several News Corporation online properties. The acquisition of Honk also brings to TrueCar a best-in-breed development team that will provide additional online e-commerce, web marketing and automotive industry expertise to iterate TrueCar’s own projects with more agility.
Scott Painter, founder and CEO of TrueCar, said, “The addition of Honk to the TrueCar family gives us the power to build an unprecedented kind of social network – a Facebook for car buyers where trustworthy, unbiased information is shared freely and consumer confidence is reinforced by the community. With more than a quarter million cars sold and a billion dollars saved by consumers through TrueCar, we have helped validate our core philosophy centered on real, upfront pricing and radical clarity, and with this agreement, TrueCar is further positioned for rapid growth and expansion.”
According to Painter, the acquisition of Honk permits TrueCar to help those in the market for a car make the right decisions based on specific needs, personal styles and stages of life; and gives consumers trusted insight into the fair price of the car they desire. Honk has been an innovator in its field and TrueCar looks forward to enlightening community members on the benefits of intelligent, data-driven choices prior to automotive purchases.
TrueCar’s nationwide network of nearly 5,000 Certified Dealers increases the sales velocity of cars, trucks and vans while maintaining margins through operational and marketing efficiencies - all driven by a steady stream of in-market customers who are ready to buy.
Honk was co-founded by auto industry veteran Tom Taira, who has consulted for more than a dozen automotive manufacturers, including General Motors, Volkswagen, Mazda, and Toyota, specializing in e-commerce development and product strategies.
“At Honk, we consider ourselves to be the consumer’s voice in the auto industry,” said Taira. “Our message of empowerment is totally consistent with that found in the upfront pricing, data-driven model perfected by TrueCar. In addition, we feel the car-buying process should be simple, engaging and fun – three principles that form much of the foundation of the TrueCar car-shopping experience.”
Headquartered in San Francisco, Honk’s mission is to help consumers make smart car shopping decisions by leveraging the power of friends, family and the community. Honk’s automotive platform puts the car shopper in charge, providing a highly organized shopping experience that includes a central place to manage favorites, personalized vehicle recommendations, detailed consumer reviews, and social decision streams that capture the collective knowledge of an individual’s social network. Honk’s social automotive platform powers Honk.com.
About TrueCar, Inc.
TrueCar, Inc. is an automotive solutions provider focused on changing how cars are sold by providing a significantly better customer experience while helping qualified dealer partners to gain incremental market share and reduce costs. As a transparent, visual publisher of new car transaction data. TrueCar.com price reports help both dealers and consumers to agree on the parameters of a fair deal by providing an accurate, comprehensive and simple understanding of what others actually paid for the identically equipped new car over the last 30 days both locally and nationally.
TrueCar, Inc. works with a national network of nearly 5,000 Certified Dealers that provide up-front, no-haggle, competitive pricing to assist some of the nation’s largest and most well respected membership and service organizations to meet the auto buying needs of their members and customers. These partnerships include American Express, AAA, USAA and more than 60 others. Collectively these audiences represent over 1M in-market customers each month.
TrueCar, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA and has offices in San Francisco. The company was founded in 2005 and has been profitable since 2009. With nearly 200 percent year-over-year growth TrueCar has driven over 250,000 sales and is developing a suite of transaction oriented products and services centered on transparency and radical clarity as a result of comprehensively analyzing market data and information. You can follow TrueCar on Twitter and become a fan of TrueCar on Facebook.