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TrueCar Exploring Used-Car Market Options

Fresh off IPO, company developing new service.

by on May.19, 2014

John Krafcik, TrueCar's new president, said the company is working on new service to buy and sell used cars.

With the money from its initial public offering of stock in the bank, TrueCar plans to move quickly to use its resources to expand its reach.

John Krafcik, TrueCar’s new president, said one of the areas in which it will be putting a substantial effort is a new service that would make it easier to sell used vehicles.

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“We’re not a shopping site; we’re a buying (site),” noted Krafcik. “Once you’ve made the decision you want to buy a Sonata, we help you find it at a competitive price.” (more…)

TrueCar IPO Falls Short of Expectations -Then Rebounds

After dropping price, traders quickly drive shares back up.

by on May.16, 2014

John Krafcik, third from left, TrueCar president, and Scott Painter, founder and CEO of TrueCar, right of Krafcik, celebrate the its debut on the NASDAQ.

With some of the fizz going out of internet stock in recent weeks, the initial public offering of stock by auto buying service TrueCar fell short of its own, cautious expectations as it began its first day of trading — but then quickly rebounded.

Initially expected to command between $12 and $14 per share when shares began trading today, they actually wound up launching under the NASDAQ symbol “TRUE” at a much more modest $9.00. Considering the nearly 8 million shares of common stock TrueCar offered, it will have raised about $70 million, down from initial expectations of somewhere around $100 million.

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The firm expects to use the cash it did raise for expanding its business operations and possibly making additional acquisitions according to the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. It purchased the influential ALG, the former Automotive Leasing Guide, two years ago.

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Ex-Hyundai CEO Krafcik Named New TrueCar President

Unexpected move comes as Web service prepares for IPO.

by on May.02, 2014

John Krafcik is no longer just a board member at TrueCar, he's added the title of President.

John Krafcik, former Hyundai Motor America President and CEO, has been named the President of TrueCar, the automotive sales and data website that is preparing for a stock offering.

The announcement ends speculation about the future of Krafcik, who left Hyundai in December after the South Korean automaker declined to renew his contract. Because of the talent he demonstrated while leading Hyundai’s American operations through a period of rapid growth, speculation about Krafcik’s future has been intense at times.

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Krafcik himself told TheDetroitBureau.com that he was considering “a number of opportunities” during a brief conversation at the New York Auto Show in April. (more…)

TrueCar Files for IPO as Former Hyundai CEO Krafcik Joins Board

Shopping service looking to raise $125 million.

by on Apr.04, 2014

TrueCar wants cash to grow its operations.

Online automotive shopping site TrueCar.com has announced plans to go public – a significant turnaround for a service that some thought might not survive a series of legal challenges that forced the company to make some major changes to its business model over the last two years.

TrueCar revealed it had filed the necessary paperwork – known as a Form S-1 – with the Securities and Exchange Commission  just a day after it announced that former Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik had joined the company’s board of directors.

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Though the firm’s management could not comment about the IPO due to federal guidelines, the planned stock offering is expected to raise as much as $125 million which would be used to further expand the firm’s aggressive growth plans.  TrueCar previously  raised significant funds through private equity offerings, including a $30 million investment by Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

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Hyundai North America CEO Krafcik Leaving Company

No official reason given for departure, but contract not renewed.

by on Dec.27, 2013

John Krafcik is no longer CEO of Hyundai North America. No explanation was given for his departure.

In a surprise move and without clear explanation, John Krafcik is out as President and CEO of Hyundai North America despite the fact he oversaw the maker’s most successful rise in sales and market share during his five-year run.

Dave Zuchowski, currently Hyundai’s executive vice president of U.S. sales, will take over as President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2014.

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It has been widely reported, several Hyundai competitors targeted Krafcik for senior management positions. While no official explanation was given for his departure, sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com the recruiting was not the reason his contract was not renewed. (more…)

Hyundai Market Share Likely to Slip

Korean carmaker hitting limits of production capacity.

by on Jul.15, 2013

Hyundai expects to sell around 2,000 of the 2014 Equus luxury sedans in the U.S.

Despite record sales this year, Hyundai expects its market share to shrink in the U.S. because of a continuing – and growing — shortage of vehicle resulting from a lack of production capacity.

“We see more demand for our products than we do production,” Hyundai Motor America Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said during a visit to the Hyundai-Kia Technical Center to show off the updated version of Hyundai’s luxury car, the Equus. “We can’t get a single incremental unit out of our plants,” he said.

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Nevertheless, Hyundai is still “on track” to increase sales 4.4% this year, to 734,000 vehicles in the U.S., which means from a sales standpoint, “Our year is going well,” Krafcik added.

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Hyundai Mulls Adding To U.S. Production Capacity

Maker may tweak Alabama plant to build more vehicles.

by on Jun.24, 2013

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik.

Despite a harried sales pace for the year featuring a record-setting performance in May, Hyundai is still pondering whether to add more assembly capacity in the United States.

Hyundai Motor America Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said during a visit to Detroit that automaker isn’t sure it’s the right time to add more production capacity in the U.S.

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The maker’s U.S. plant in Montgomery, Ala. is running three shifts. Hyundai added the additional shift last September, which bulked up production by 20,000 units annually.

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Hyundai Readying Electric Vehicle for US Market

Several options available “at some point.”

by on Jun.07, 2013

Hyundai's BlueOn battery car went on sale in the Korean market late last year.

Despite its long reluctance to adopt battery power, Hyundai is apparently getting ready to bring a battery car to the U.S. market its American CEO had revealed.

Exactly what and when remains uncertain, though the maker is already selling a compact battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, called the BlueOn in South Korea. Hyundai Motor America may have no choice but to enter the electric vehicle market, however, if it is to stay on the right side of regulators in the critical California market.

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“Our primary zero-emission vehicle focus is fuel cell right now,” tweeted HMA Chief Executive John Krafcik, “but we will certainly field a BEV at some point.”

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Hyundai’s Krafcik Named “Executive of the Year”

"Superb team" shares credit.

by on May.21, 2013

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik.

John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, has been named “Automotive Executive of The Year” for 2013.

The award for the one-time Ford Motor Co. engineer comes as the Korean carmaker sees a modest – but anticipated — slowdown after several years of record sales growth.

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“With his superb team, John Krafcik has literally reshaped the way Hyundai approaches the market with consumer focus, compelling design, and enduring value,” said Robert Djurovic, executive director of the Automotive Executive of the Year Award program, and director of Automotive Services North America, DNV. “It’s no surprise that accolades for Hyundai products just keep coming,” Djurovic said.

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Production Shortage Dragging Down Hyundai’s Market Share

But incentives fall while transaction prices soar.

by on Mar.15, 2013

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is the latest addition to the maker's line-up.

Hyundai has set sales records in each of the last two months yet could still wind up losing market share this year because of a chronic shortage of vehicles.

The problem is one of global scale and reflects the maker’s cautious approach to boosting production capacity, Hyundai Motor America Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik told TheDetroitBureau.com. But the Korean carmaker is beginning to look for ways to address the situation.

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There is a positive side to the shortage. It has reinforced Hyundai’s effort to transform itself from a “value-based brand to a valuable brand,” according to Krafcik, and in the process, the maker has been able to cut incentives while average transaction prices have jumped to record highs on most of its products.

“We’ve never sold as many cars in January and February as we did in the first two months of this year,” Krafcik noted.

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