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Cars.com is being told to profit or sell

Apr 7, 2015
9
4
First Name
Jim
As a staunch advocate of dealer-friendly and consumer-friendly video test drives since 2004, I'm still amazed that portals like Cars.com, Cargurus and Autotrader don't offer year/make/model videos with their inventory listings. Seems like the bigger the company, the slower it innovates. Smart dealers know better. Why not these guys?
 

Chris Cachor

3rd Base Coach
Apr 29, 2011
439
206
First Name
Chris
They've failed to keep pace with CarGurus and haven't shown progress since the big Dealer Inspire acquisition. Their biggest problem is the fees they charge - not competitive in the least. Same with Auto Trader.
 
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Reactions: Alexander Lau

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
1,023
676
Awards
1
First Name
John
Cars.com (I believe) took pride in not having automotive people working for them. I always got the impression (even from the most senior levels) that they felt their knowledge of digital and publishing trumped "car dealer knowledge."

There's an absolutely unmistakable visible (as long as you have eyes) pattern with several more mature vendors: they fall in love with their own ideas and forget who they serve; they forget who strokes the checks. They start solving problems THEY see, thinking/assuming their benefactors see the same problems, when often, the benefactors do not.

Digital Retailing, anybody???

I have a hunch this is the overall MO with technology and software businesses, not strictly limited to automotive, but its soooo obvious in automotive because of the limited market/audience.
 

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
1,023
676
Awards
1
First Name
John
Seems like the bigger the company, the slower it innovates.

The bigger the company, the more the company needs to focus on organizing the company vs. solving business problems. In other words, the bigger the company, the more the company needs to solve internal problems created by scale. As a result, many large companies get heavy with "Organizational Management" personnel vs. "Object Management" personnel.

Ideally, for every leader focussed on the organization, there's a mirror/counterpart focussed on solving their market's business problems (the "object"). Unfortunately, the reality is that organizational managers understand and value other organizational managers, so they seek like-minded people, and vice-versa with object managers. What you end-up with is a lack of balance: endless re-organization and re-strategizing on one end of the pendulum, and the inability to scale your business on the other end.

The answer has to be "balance," but I haven't seen it...
 

Alexander Lau

Banned
Feb 11, 2015
2,493
763
First Name
Alex
Cars missing options are finally in the past.
Right now, 20-50% of your inventory is missing options. It's a silent epidemic that impacts every single dealer. It's amazing how few people knew about this options list chaos (unless your a DR regular ;-). CarStory has built a solution and Car.com and DI have partnered with CS. Cars.com announced they'll include it for free on all used car listings.

This is epic. Not only will it lower costs to create listings, it'll make every listing accurate AND letter perfect. This system solves another big problem, unstructured data where identical options have different names is no longer a problem.

Finally, I can check this off the WTF list.
Per @joe.pistell
 

ryan.leslie

One of the good guys
Apr 20, 2009
626
574
First Name
Ryan
Here's the press release:
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rel...s-data-for-all-dealer-listings-300783137.html

@joe.pistell mentioned this already, but the error rate is high. I've had several dealers take me up on the merchandising audit from Deals4Dealers here on Refresh. Wrong trim, wrong transmission, no transmission, 350 errors on 142 units... there is a lot of opportunity for improvement. That improvement benefits the dealer in terms of at-bats, turn, and gross, and it really helps the consumer in terms of experience too.

I'm excited to have Cars partnering with us to help their dealers.