An Open Letter to the Automotive Industry - Ken Potter
I spent the last three years working at TRUECar with a great team of people under me listening to dealers, industry executives, and my team on how to best serve dealers.
I first want to thank those dealers that allowed me to come visit their stores and hear their very candid feedback, concerns, and thoughts on how we could serve them better. I will be the first to say we didn't get it right for everyone, but we did grow from 3,200 to over 10,000 dealers during this time and did it with humility and respect, and made the program one dealers embraced and actually liked in many, many cases.
I sold my first car in the 90’s and am proud to say I am a “car guy”. I believe we have a great industry that creates opportunities for all walks of people and is often a second chance landing place for many who need one. Despite how technology has changed over the past 15 years, people still sell cars and always will in my mind.
I am very grateful to have had a long career in this industry and look forward to my next chapter. There are many players with lots of cash now jumping in the Automotive tech space and I would like to offer a piece of friendly advice to you all:
Dealers are the lifeblood, the Sales People are the soul, you cannot simply get in the middle of the Customer and Dealer with a great tech product and think you will be great for the industry. The Dealers are the ones who pay everyone (vendors, manufacturer, their employees, advertisers) which therefore makes the Dealer “the customer”.
If you receive revenue or profit from a Dealer, you should be accountable to them on their terms. You should embrace the people they employ and the lives they support.
I look forward to seeing many of my Dealer friends down the road or at a convention and whatever I will be doing will be done with Dealers in mind first, and with humility and respect for the industry.