Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers

Loading... Be Patient!

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

Jim Ziegler asks...

I am hearing a lot of discussion about True Car and ZAG.  I continually scratch my head and wonder if  desperate dealers are doing the marketing limbo "How Low Can You Go?" 

Are we so bad at what we do that we have to line up and pay vendors to lose money? AND, who is giving these people access to your data that is used against you? 


Who owns these companies and what might be their ulterior motive?  Sometimes I ask questions to which I already know the answer. 


Am I wrong?

What do you think... JIM







EDITOR'S NOTE: The ADM Professional Community has assigned a short-cut domain name to this blog post by Jim Ziegler to make it very easy for ADM members and readers to refer others to this web page. Please use the following URL:


Jim Ziegler's Guidance and Recommended Action Plan:

Ten Areas We Need to Concentrate on to Bring This Monster to It's Knees...

  1. Government investigation of ALL Data Aggregators taking consumer information from dealers' DMS. Sadly enough, dealers who do business with TrueCar are exposed to  liability charges. Cut off all access to unecessary data, no matter who takes it from the dealers DMS and make it illegal to "resell identifiable consumer data" and "transactional data".
  2. Educate Your Fellow Dealers; If anyone takes financial transactional data, they expose the dealer that allowed it to violations, especially if it is passed on to other vendors or shared.
  3. Educate Consumers to what they're doing with their information...
    a. You buy a car from a dealer, do you really want your personal information, and maybe even your financial information, passed along and sold and shared by "God knows who?"
    b. These People Charge the Dealer $300 which the dealers have to build into the deal
    c. Your Privacy and the Security of your Information could theoretically compromise your identity if you do business a company that takes data from the dealership.
  4. Educate Investors and potential investors they could possibly be mislead if anyone is telling them this is a safe investment because of all of the dealers pushing back, associations pushing back, and government regulators in many states coming after TrueCar's business model as NOT compliant, in some cases they're saying it is Not Legal.
  5. AMEX, USAA and all of their affiliates do not want the bad consumer relations this push back is creating with their members and customers.
  6. Cancel your dealership's Affilation with TrueCar. Tell people with TrueCar certificates that YOU don't honor TrueCar and you feel the company is NOT reputable. Educate consumers as to perceived data exposure if they buy from a TrueCar dealer. Make sure that each consumer knows that using TrueCar actually increases their vehicle cost by $300 to $400.
  7. Make the dealers selling at huge losses take all of those deals. Big problem right now is too many Nissan Dealers and others are taking huge losers to get the factory money. The TrueCar reverse-auction business model will continually push those numbers down until the factory money is non-existent. Consumers need to hear from many dealers, "We don't do TrueCar"
  8. Keep calling your National and State Dealer Associations demanding they get involved and stay involved... No excuses.
  9. Get the Manufacturers into the game. If GM, Ford, Toyota, and other majors change the rules about how we advertise and do business to protect the dealers, we can cut off their ability to set pricing. So keep it up at every dealer meeting. Call your Dealer Council Members and protest to your factory reps. Tell the manufacturers, if they want showroom and facility improvements, we need the ability to make fair profits.
  10. Tell everyone you know. Educate other dealers and industry people. Watch the Painter interviews... I believe this is the first time a vendor has publicly announced they intend to bring down the dealers and hijack our business, taking our profits and starving us out with our own data. Painter has said manufacturers and dealers should go bankrupt and he, in his God-like way "will control distribution..."
    When the TrueCar-Yahoo Deal kicks in we need to stand firm and "Just Say No" we don't honor TrueCar deals.


Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

Join Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Comment by David T. Gould on January 20, 2012 at 4:29pm

Wow, sorry for this Zach. You do not owe anyone here an apology. I respect your taking responsibility for your actions and your father's efforts here on behalf of automotive professionals through out the country. Please note: This is not typical, at all, of what service these automotive forums serve.

@Jim and your family. With all sincerity, from my family to yours. Thank You and God Bless.


Comment by Jerry Thibeau on January 20, 2012 at 4:12pm

That just goes to show you what scum these people are.  Despicable!  Pretty sad they had to attack your family, you don't deserve this!

Comment by Zach Ziegler on January 20, 2012 at 3:54pm

I'm older now and a lot more responsible. I really wish this didn't have to be posted here but I can see why Dad did it. Mr. Dietz was trying to blackmail us and use what I did years ago against my family. 

I haven't had any more tickets in years, I work every day and love my family. Sorry this had to come out this way but it is better than my Dad being secretive.  ZACH ZIEGLER

Comment by David DeSantis on January 20, 2012 at 3:51pm

All I see was that he got arrested for driving with a suspended license.  Big deal!  Even if he was busted drunk driving.  People need to stop blaming or thinking the parents are bad because their kid got into trouble.  It's all about choices, when your kid leaves the door at night, you hope they make the right choices.  Sometimes they don't, but it has nothing to do with the parent.  The parent didn't make the choice, their kid did.  Last week in my home state of Maine, on the same road I used to drive to my girlfriend twenty years ago.  Four teenagers were riding in a car back to a party, the driver was drunk, and crashed.  Two were killed, one was a sixteen year old girl.  State police go to her parents house, which was very close to the accident.  They inform her parents that their daughter was involved in a motor vehicle accident.  "No she wasn't, she's in bed", is what her father told the trooper.  She had snuck out of the house.  Again, are her parents bad people, because of the choice their daughter made.  Should the photo of the mangled up car she was killed in, be posted on her father's locker at work?   Better, how bout the photos of her dead body, posted where he can see it, so it reminds him of how he failed as a parent, or that his child made a bad choice?

It's utterly appalling that anyone would make an attack, or perceived attack on an individual's family members on this board.  What you Steve have done, forget Truecar's purpose, you've reinforced serious issues with the whole operation of the business and investors.  You signed up on this ADM community last month, for what? 

My question to you is the same that I asked Charles, are you authorized to speak as a representative of TrueCar, GRP Partners, or any other company that has a vested interest in TrueCar?  As you are well aware, GRP Partners was only part of the multiple of companies that came together for the funding round.  Participants in the financing include a mix of strategic and financial investors, such as USAA, Capricorn Investment Group and GRP Partners, McCombs Family Partners and DealerTrack Holdings, GSV Capital, Passport Capital, International Investment House and Allen & Company. Debt capital was provided by Silicon Valley Bank.

If you are not authorized to speak on the behalf of all these companies.  I would believe that there's many people out there who would be very interested in what you're saying.  Unless I'm missing something here.  You're a partner with one of the companies that helped in putting this funding together.  Looking at your website, there's seven others involved in your company.  In addition to how many others have a vested interest in this?  Is GRP the anchor investor in this? Or the main investor, usually you have one big player, and then you get little one's in.  All I can say for your benefit, I hope you're the big kahuna, cause if you're're screwed, and I mean as in Steve Diaz is personally screwed!  This is all gonna blow up not just for investors, but for Truecar. Damn, and you're really a lawyer, didn't you ever tell your client, "no matter what anyone says, do not say a word!"

Comment by Yago De Artaza Paramo on January 20, 2012 at 3:47pm

@ Thomas,

We all know that. What is sad is that what he did speaks volumes about his character (that is Diez character).

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on January 20, 2012 at 3:28pm

What Jim's son did or did not do is irrelevant, It is what Deitz did intended to do to Jim. He attempted to intimidate at best or blackmail at worst..... it is all about Deitz and his total lack of character and his "anything to win" dirty tactics. His disgust has no boundaries.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 20, 2012 at 3:24pm

My wife, my son Zachary and I  are all sitting here right now discussing it.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 20, 2012 at 3:23pm

My wife, my son Zachary and I  are all sitting here right now discussing it.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 20, 2012 at 3:08pm

Zachary is here with me now reading all of this. he will sign on shortly after he joins, with a message for Mr. Dietz.

Comment by Yago De Artaza Paramo on January 20, 2012 at 3:07pm

Raise your hand if you are a true car guy and you have never drag raced a car and /or could have lost your license should a cop have been around there at that time?


I often fell ashamed about what I out my mom thru when I was in my 20's... but I came out allright in the end.


Nonetheless, Zig if you are in vegas and your kid is with you let me know... and I will park my car far from the convention center! :)

Social Network for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing, Advertising and Sales Management Professionals sharing Internet strategies and tactics

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge


ADM Community is Proud of our Sponsors

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey


ADM Events

April 2014

Your Support for ADM Sponsors helps Fund Scholarships and Events

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......


© 2014   Created by Ralph Paglia.

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service