TrueCar Names Ex-Hyundai Executive Krafcik President Before IPO

TrueCar Inc., the online auto-buying service that’s planning an initial public offering, said board member John Krafcik, the former head of Hyundai Motor Co.’s U.S. operations, is now its president.

Krafcik, 52, began the new job yesterday, TrueCar’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Painter said in an interview. The Santa Monica, California-based company, backed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, filed last month to raise at least $125 million in an IPO.

“This is validation that we are deepening the bench and making this a company that’s really operating at scale,” Painter said. “Having someone with his background, who’s worked with large companies and budgets, is going to help us scale up the company and keep growing.”

TrueCar, which provides pricing and vehicle data for consumers and helps car dealers find customers, hasn’t said when its IPO will be priced, and Painter declined to discuss the matter. The company reported a 68 percent jump in revenue in 2013 to $134 million, while its net loss narrowed to $25.1 million from $74.5 million, according to a filing. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $2.14 million.

About 3 percent of new vehicle sales in the U.S. were handled through TrueCar last year, according to the company. Painter has said it gets $300 from dealers for each customer it refers who buys a new vehicle, and $400 for a used-car sale.

Krafcik joined TrueCar’s board in March. He left Hyundai in December after five years as its U.S. CEO, and is also a former Ford Motor Co. engineer. During his time running Hyundai’s U.S. unit, Krafcik oversaw a 79 percent increase in sales to a record 720,783 vehicles in 2013.

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