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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.

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Comment by Zach Ziegler on January 21, 2012 at 9:11am

I was 21 when this happened, I wasn't living at home, i didnt have a license and still had to get to and from work daily. I honestly do not believe that me getting caught that night shows any relation to what kind of person I am. I am my own man, i do not need anyone to speak for me. I broke the law, i got caught, so i manned up and took my consequences, I even helped my arresting officer sell his car a week or so after the incident. I know i have faults, as does everyone, but for Steven Dietz to send my dad the email that he did, it certainly shines a light on a few of his.

Comment by Joseph B Antley; JB ANTLEY on January 21, 2012 at 9:05am

Driving w/o a license? Drag racing?

That's called 'Friday night' where I come from!

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on January 21, 2012 at 7:21am

Steven Dietz

Capricorn Investment Group,
Charles Kim,
GRP Partners,
Silicon Valley Bank,
Keating Capital,
GSV Capital,
Passport Capital,
McCombs Enterprises,
Allen & Company,
International Investment House,
Red McCombs,
Needham LLC,
Santa Monica,
Scott Painter,
Stephen Hansen,
Steven Dietz,
Jim Ziegler,
battle plan,,
Federal Trade Commission,

Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 21, 2012 at 7:17am

I promise you Jason we will stay on point. This will move on in a day or two and the issues will stay up front forever.

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on January 21, 2012 at 7:12am
Comment by Jason Manning on January 21, 2012 at 6:42am
Stay on Point throughout this thread. This is about Dealer Data. They want it. They will use your very own loved ones to get it. See how powerful Data is yet? Find companies who will agree to tell you the exact path your data is taking. We have to have agreements that allow us to shut those paths down. This is about data security...not some young man who was caught drag racing. I swear I see someone breaking the law in front of me every day. They just don't get caught. In TrueCar's case, they've been caught. Focus on dealer education and data security.
Comment by Gerald Hand on January 21, 2012 at 6:04am

Well Jim, apparently this Mr Dietz fails to grasp while he IS your son, at the age of 21 he is well beyond the age of emancipation and is an adult who made a mistake. What mistakes has HE made (besides the obvious one in trying to shake down dealers)! Furthermore, anyone who HAS class has no need to point out the fact they do have class. It speaks for itself. This is one more illustration this company is nothing more than a snake in the grass. DEALERS BEWARE- you are in league with the devil

Comment by Jim Kristoff on January 21, 2012 at 4:44am

WOW......that is a sad turn of events to start bringing family issues into a discussion of a business world scenario.

I am disgusted with the entire TrueCar-GRP world.....

I am just SO shocked...I don't know what to say....


Comment by Remove on January 21, 2012 at 4:26am
Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 21, 2012 at 4:17am

Despite all of my personal flamboyance and tendency to love to show off... Debbie and Zach and I are actually very decent people living by a pretty high moral code. Why Dietz thought it would be so cool to attack my son to use as blackmail  and hold it over me...who knows.

I must say, Scott Painter had the decency to to call and say this was not his company or him, personally, all in all, even though he and I are in a heated battle,  I believe Painter is a decent person and a family man.

Dietz speaks for himself and  maybe GRP Partners. We are basically good people and this guy Dietz, I think he showed us his moral values. 

You see, it's not a secret. I wrote about it in a National Magazine when it happened. No Steven, It's not a secret, but in your low life way you thought it was worthy of blackmailing me using my family. Well now , everyone you know is going to know what a load you really are.

You see, I have told others many times my son was caught drag racing lost his license and was later arrested for driving without a license. I love my son and that has been out in the open for a long time. Anyone who wanted to know was told. BUT YOU thought in your grimy arrogant way you had a piece of blackmail to hold over me about my family. Now I've turned it on you and exposed you to the light of day... and cockroaches always run when you shine a light on them. 

You haven't phased me in the least with all your babbling and baiting Mr. Dietz BUT we all sense you and your friends are UNRaveling rapidly. I will not respond to you again on any of these threads. BUT I promise you'll be hearing about this from your neighbors and at your country club, and they're not going to like it. 

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