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DAVID BARKHOLZ

Why TrueCar's Painter can chill out at Davos this week

TrueCar CEO Scott Painter, pictured at the 2013 Automotive News World Congress last week, says dealer participation is back to precrisis level. Photo credit: Joe Wilssens

TrueCar CEO Scott Painter is scheduled to present Thursday at the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, without the dark cloud that accompanied his visit last year.

Painter indicated at the Automotive News World Congress last week that business leaders wanted to know if vehicle profitability for retailers could be improved, given low overall industry margins. "There's a lot of curiosity about that," he said.

The annual Davos shindig brings together world business and political leaders to network and plan global economic growth.

When Painter traveled to Davos a year ago he was under intense regulatory pressure at home to change the business model of TrueCar, an online vehicle-buying site for consumers.

Painter said dealer participation is back to precrisis levels now that TrueCar has switched from a cutthroat pricing model that encouraged dealers to bid vigorously against each other to a low-haggle format that leaves more profit for dealers.

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