TrueCar Appoints Former SC Dealer Association Exec to Industry Relations Role


On Monday, TrueCar brought in the former executive vice president and chief executive officer of the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association as the site’s vice president for industry relations.

TrueCar is asking Pat Watson to oversee all relationships with dealer associations at the national, state and metro-area level.

In his 39 years with the SCADA in Columbia, S.C., Watson served the association as the director of field services and government liaison before becoming CEO in 1976.

Watson has sat on the board of the Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE) three times, an organization that represents the executives of 115 state and metro dealer associations, according to officials. 

Prior to joining the SCADA, he served as an associate football coach at the University of South Carolina. 

“TrueCar is committed to partnering with and serving dealers. Having Pat join our team is symbolic and extremely meaningful,” TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter stated. 

“He is a true advocate for dealers and will help TrueCar to stay focused on making sure that our dealer partners’ needs are met,” Painter added.

TrueCar also mentioned Watson is active in many business and professional organizations, including the American and South Carolina Societies of Association Executives and the national association of Automotive Trade Association Executives.

Furthermore, Watson is president of South Carolina Automotive Youth Educational Systems, a national education program for recruiting and training young men and women for the retail automotive industry, especially in the areas of automotive technology and collision repair.

“Pat comes to us with a wealth of experience and respected industry relationships,” noted Stewart Easterby, executive vice president of dealer development at TrueCar.

“We are focused on cultivating and strengthening our relationships with the ATAEs,” Easterby continued. “TrueCar will rely heavily on Pat to communicate with and receive feedback from these key stakeholders who are influential in shaping automotive retailing.”

Reacting to the appointment, Watson stressed, “I have an immense amount of respect and admiration for the team at TrueCar and the innovative service they have built to benefit dealers and consumers alike.

“I look forward to working with ATAEs across the country in an effort to create relationships that will further advance the understanding and value of TrueCar’s service and vision,” Watson concluded.

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