U.S. automotive site TrueCar posted another quarter of annual revenue growth in the three months to December 2023, buoyed by increased dealer spending on new-vehicle listings amid declining demand for used cars.

TrueCar posted Q4 2023 revenue of $41.3 million, up 13% year on year (y-o-y). The company reported a net loss of $1.9 million, a marked improvement from its $18.1 million loss in Q4 2022.

Consumer traffic averaged 7.0 million monthly unique visitors in Q4 2023, declining from 7.4 million in the year-earlier period. Traffic stood at 8.1 million uniques in Q3 2023.

TrueCar said it had been encouraged by a “potential bottoming” in paying dealer count, which was roughly flat quarter on quarter (11,500 at the end of Q4 vs. 11,503 at the end of Q3). The company added 135 franchise dealers in Q4, which nearly offset a net loss of 138 independent dealers.

It noted independent dealers cut back on ad spend due to high interest rates, while franchise dealers spent more with TrueCar to cope with rising new car inventories.

In Q4, new vehicle sales comprised 59% of units sold on TrueCar, up from 50% in Q4 2022 and 56% in Q3 2023. 

TrueCar explained that part of its appeal to franchise dealers was a service that helps them promote car-maker discounts on new vehicles.  

The company said it recently rolled out eight new marketing products intended to reach prospective purchasers at specific parts of the consumer lifecycle, including the building of brand awareness and trust, inducements to purchase and customer-retention efforts. 

The company is also continuing to develop its online-transaction offering, TrueCar+. First piloted in Florida in the fall of 2021, the tool is “effectively still a super lead,” TrueCar CEO Jantoon Reigersman said during a quarterly call with analysts

The company added that in the first half of 2024, it would be replaced by a “complete online transaction, at which point only cars that are fully transactable online will be classified as TC+.”

TrueCar predicted Q1 2024 revenue would grow by 10% y-o-y, implying a top line of about $40.7 million.

See TrueCar’s Q4 2023 letter to shareholders here.

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