Vehicle listings company TrueCar on Monday rolled out a new car-buying program for military service members, veterans and their families.
Dubbed “TrueCar Military,” the program will offer participants purchase incentives and maintenance benefits, as well as a dedicated customer hotline. TrueCar developed the platform as it prepares to wind down a 13-year partnership with USAA Federal Savings Bank later this year.
An expanded military purchase program had been under consideration for some time, CEO Mike Darrow said, but the development timeline was “accelerated” when USAA notified TrueCar in February that it planned to exit its car-buying membership service.
“We knew all along we had military veterans shopping on our site,” Darrow told Automotive News. “This was the opportunity for us to kind of expand that.”
TrueCar Military will offer up to $ 2,000 in automaker incentives on brands from BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Nissan, the company said. Additionally, shoppers in TrueCar’s military program can receive up to $ 4,000 in repair and deductible reimbursements during the first two years of ownership, Darrow said.
USAA had more than 13 million members as of December 2019. By comparison, Darrow said TrueCar estimated that there may be closer to 40 million members of a broader military audience who might benefit from a car-buying program.
Darrow added that there may be future opportunities to partner with other military-focused organizations, including lenders, as well as USAA.
TrueCar in February said it signed a short-term agreement with USAA to continue its car-buying partnership through Sept. 30. USAA will pay TrueCar a $ 20 million transition services fee. The partnership generates about 29 percent of the vehicles sold to buyers who connect with dealerships through TrueCar’s network, the company said at the time.
In 2019, TrueCar reported selling roughly 290,000 vehicles through its USAA channel, with more than 2 million vehicles sold to USAA members during the life of the partnership, Darrow said.
Darrow said the company has not built TrueCar Military into the company’s current business planning and projections for 2020 to give the service time to grow.
“This is an effort that we wanted to be unfettered, at least initially, from business requirements and make sure we were setting this up the right way to deliver the right level of service,” he said. “But we think this channel will grow quickly.”