Certified Pre-Owned

Certified pre-owned car sales start year up 5%

CARY, N.C. - 

After just narrowly notching another record year, sales of certified pre-owned vehicles climbed more than 5 percent in January.

The CPO market began 2018 with 203,024 sales last month, according to Autodata Corp. This was a 5.3-percent hike over January 2017 — although it was also an 8.2-percent decrease from December.

The Big 3 was the highlight of the month, with CPO sales up 16.9 percent from a year ago. Domestic-brand dealers combined to move 70,274 certified vehicles, according to Autodata.

That compares to a 2.2-percent spike for European-brand dealers, who sold 35,019 CPO cars.

Sales of Asian-brand certified units were down 0.8 percent at 97,731.

Autodata notes that with 25 selling days in January (versus 24 a year ago and 26 in December), the daily sales rate of 8,121 beat year-ago figures by 1.1 percent and was down 4.5 percent from December.

Last month, Cox Automotive economists said they are expecting approximately 2.7 million CPO sales in 2018, and if that comes to fruition, it will be the eighth straight year of record CPO sales.

According to Autodata., there was an estimated 2,645,718 CPO vehicles sold in 2017, compared to 2,642,986 sold in 2016.

That’s a gain of just 0.1 percent, but it was enough to bump certified sales to their best year on record.

Autotrader highlights Top 10 CPO vehicles for 2018


With the first full month of the year in the books, Autotrader on Wednesday named the 10 must-shop certified pre-owned mass market and luxury vehicles for 2018.

To make the list, vehicles needed to fit a budget not surpassing $40,000 for the non-luxury cars and $65,000 for luxury models.

“This list of ‘good as new’ models offer the latest design, meaning your friends and neighbors will think you bought a brand-new model, even though you saved money on a certified pre-owned car,” Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a news release. “Aside from being affordable, each car on the list includes a desirable, manufacturer-backed warranty, which means these selections come without many of the traditional costs (or fears) associated with a typical used car.”

include, the following group of models listed below:

Mass Market


2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

  2014-2017 Acura MDX

2015-2017 Ford Edge

  2015-2017 Audi A3

2015-2017 GMC Yukon

  2015-2017 Cadillac ATS

2015-2017 Honda Fit

  2014-2017 Infiniti QX60

2016-2017 Hyundai Tucson

  2017 Jaguar F-PACE

2016-2017 Kia Sorento

  2015-2017 Kia K900

2014-2017 Mazda6

  2015-2017 Lexus RC

2014-2017 Nissan Rogue

  2015-2017 Lincoln MKC

2014-2017 Subaru Forester

  2014-2017 Range Rover Sport

2014-2017 Toyota Tundra

  2016-2017 Volvo XC90

Additionally, non-luxury models named have an overall NHTSA safety rating of four stars or more, according to Autotrader.

CPO likely to break another record, but growth slows

CARY, N.C. - 

Cox Automotive economists are expecting approximately 2.7 million certified pre-owned vehicle sales in 2018, and if that comes to fruition, it will be the eighth straight year of record CPO sales.

But the acceleration in certified sales is not what it has been in prior years amid what is a slowdown in growth on the non-luxury side of the market, they say.

According to Autodata Corp., there was an estimated 2,645,718 CPO vehicles sold in 2017, compared to 2,642,986 sold in 2016. That’s a gain of just 0.1 percent.

Comparatively, certified sales climbed 3.5 percent in 2016, after jumping more than 9 percent in 2015, according to Autodata.

Sales were up 10.8 percent in 2014.

“On the CPO side, it’s interesting … the simple math is that 2017 eked out a slight gain,” Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said in a conference call with media and analysts this month.

“Technically, the CPO numbers set a record for 2017. But it was a less than 1-percent gain over 2016,” he said. “So we’ve started to see a real deceleration in CPO volumes, and when you drill into it, you basically start to see that we’re no longer seeing substantial growth in non-luxury CPO, and that’s really what had been driving a lot of growth in recent years.”

Granted, half of the programs that Autodata said reported best-ever years  (Fiat/Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru) would be considered non-luxury, according to Autodata, with the other half coming from the luxury side (BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Maserati and Porsche).

Still, the two largest players in CPO — Toyota and the non-luxury brands of General Motors (Buick, Chevrolet and GMC only) — were both down double-digit percentages. The Toyota division’s certified sales of 369,850 were down 11.3 percent — albeit, compared to a record year in 2016. The GM trio’s full-year CPO sales of 338,724 units were down 10.1 percent, according to Autodata. 

This trend towards slowing growth in non-luxury CPO “ultimately comes down to the buyer and sensitivity … to payments and price points,” Smoke said.  

The volumes in some of the mainstream used-car models is “are such that the consumer isn’t seeing as much value from the increase they have to pay for a CPO unit versus what they can drive down the street and buy non-CPO, but in the same kind of condition,” Smoke said.

“And I think it also reflects some decisions being made by the manufacturers to not promote CPO as heavily in the non-luxury segment,” he said.

The growth last year, Smoke said, was in luxury CPO. Brands like Cadillac (up 37.9 percent) and Infiniti (up 19 percent) were among the leaders in that respect, according to Autodata.

Though, to be fair, there were certainly luxury brands that saw their sales decline, and mainstream brands whose sales increased, including the entire gamut of the record-breaking Fiat Chrysler brands.

As for 2018, the certified market “will probably grow again, but it’ll be a changing composition,” Smoke said.

Cox Automotive’s Zo Rahim said during the call that he will be interested in watching this year to see if some of the automakers continue to downshift the focus on certified pre-owned in non-luxury.

“That’s kind of what kind of killed some of the momentum in 17,” Rahim said. “Again, the focus has moved to not certify too many of these non-luxury units from a value proposition.”

He added that if 2018 continues down same path as 2017, there will be more luxury brands that gain CPO share instead of domestics. 

Autotrader names January's top CPO deals


As shoppers settle into a new year that is sure to come with special incentives on CPOs, Autotrader has come out with its latest list of the top incentive deals available on certified pre-owned vehicle purchases throughout the month of January.

Autotrader’s list includes Buick's CPO program, which offers CPO shoppers 1.9 percent interest for up to 36 months, 2.9 percent for 60 months, and 3.9 percent for 72 months on all CPO models.

"While CPO vehicles are often lightly used, with a long manufacturer-backed warranty, they come at a great discount from the new price," Autotrader managing editor Tara Trompeter said in a news release. "Enticing car shoppers further, many automakers also offer special deals and incentives on CPO vehicles. And to ring in the new year, a number of automakers have added January exclusive incentives to their already strong programs."

Throughout January, BMW's CPO program boasts bumper-to-bumper coverage for up to one year from the expiration of the original factory comprehensive warranty that lasts for four years or 50,000 miles. Additionally, the warranty can be extended for a fee, and shoppers can also get a CPO 2014 or 2015 3 or 5 Series with 1.49 percent interest for up to 60 months through the end of February.

This month, Buick's CPO program offers an added year of bumper-to-bumper protection in addition to six years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date. Through the end of March, Buick CPO shoppers can get 1.9 percent interest on all CPO Buick Enclave and Encore models. And this January, the brand is also offering 1.9 percent interest for up to 36 months, 2.9 percent for 60 months, and 3.9 percent for 72 months on all CPO models.

Throughout January, Ford's CPO program offers an extra year of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, along with seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection from the original sale date that is similar to Buick.

Infiniti is offering protection for vehicles for up to six years from the original sale date that includes no mileage limit in some cases this January. Additionally, through the end of the month, qualified Infiniti shoppers can get 1.25 percent interest for up to 36 months on all 2013-2018 CPO models.

This month, Land Rover's CPO program touts up to seven years or 100,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage from the original sale date.  And qualified shoppers can take advantage of financing deals, with some models offering 0.9 percent interest for 24 months and either 1.9 or 2.9 percent for up to 60 months through the end of the month.

In addition to offering one year of bumper-to-bumper coverage and up to seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date, Mazda's CPO program qualified shoppers can also get 0.9 percent interest for up to 36 months on any CPO model through the end of the month.

Subaru offers seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date this month.  And boasts 1.49 percent on CPO vehicles for up to 36 months.

This January, Volvo is offering a warranty that covers vehicles for up to seven years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. Through the end of the month, shoppers can also get zero percent interest for up to 24 months on all CPO 2015 S60 models.

From the Editor: CPO Extra is now Pre-Owned & CPO

CARY, N.C. - 

Though it doesn’t seem that long ago, I wrote a that explained the new-and-improved agenda format for the weeklong conference series.

Included in that new Used Car Week format was the CPO Forum transitioning into the Pre-Owned Con.

Essentially, we adapted the certified pre-owned conference into a more comprehensive look at the entire retail used-car market.

Flash forward to 2018, and we’re doing the same with our CPO Extra enewsletter.

That enewsletter will now be known as Pre-Owned & CPO.

If you recall from Used Car Week in November, Pre-Owned Con went beyond certified pre-owned to focus on analytics, data and big-picture vision, strategies and technologies that are impacting the overall retail used-car market.

We’re aiming to do the same from an editorial standpoint with the Pre-Owned & CPO enewsletter.

Bear in mind: We’re still going to cover the CPO market within this enewsletter, just as we always have. But instead of focusing entirely on that slice of the market, we will include stories on the broader overall retail used-car market, as well. 

As for timing, distribution and other logistics? Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

You can expect to see Pre-Owned & CPO every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. No need to re-subscribe or change anything. Just a new format!

As always, AuSM is always open to back, story ideas, etc. Contact me any time with questions or comments at [email protected].

And Happy New Year!

7th straight record year for CPO car sales

CARY, N.C. - 

Certified pre-owned vehicles sales reached a seventh straight record year by the slimmest of margins.

According to Autodata Corp., there was an estimated 2,645,718 CPO vehicles sold in 2017, compared to 2,642,986 sold in 2016.

That’s a gain of just 0.1 percent, but it was enough to bump certified sales to their best year on record.

The year closed with 221,126 sales in December, which was down 4.8 percent year-over-year.

Dealers moved 624,602 CPO units in the fourth quarter, which was off 2.7 percent year-over-year, according to Autodata.

Despite the slowdown at the close of the year, the firm said 12 CPO programs had best-ever years: BMW, Cadillac, Fiat/Chrysler, Honda, Infiniti, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche and Subaru.

Domestic brands combined to move 907,447 certified vehicles for the year, beating the 2016 total by 0.9 percent.

Asian brands were down 1.1 percent with 1.29 million CPO vehicles sold. European brands upped their sales by 1.9 percent, selling 449,775 units.

On the new-car side, there appears to be some momentum building, according to commentary from Comerica Bank.

"Vehicle sales surged in September after the hurricanes damaged vehicles from Texas to Florida," said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank, in a news release. "We expected sales to fall off from the September surge quicker than they have. Strong consumer confidence, buoyed by sustained economic momentum and tax reform, may be extending the rally in auto sales."

12 brands already integrated in GM’s in-vehicle mobile commerce platform


Here’s another way your dealership staff can highlight a vehicle from General Motors, including some that are certified pre-owned: Explain how they can order coffee from inside the car, truck or crossover that’s equipped with the automaker’s embedded 4G LTE connectivity.

Starting Wednesday, GM is rolling out a platform for on-demand reservations and purchases of goods and services. With Marketplace, drivers can now order and pay for their favorite coffee — and much more — on the way to work with a simple tap on the dash.

Marketplace can allow customers to order food, find the closest gas station to save on fuel and make dinner reservations on the go. The OEM insisted this development means Marketplace gives drivers of eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles the opportunity to more safely interact with a growing number of their favorite brands in retail, fuel, hospitality, food, hotel and transportation through the in-vehicle touchscreen.

Leveraging 4G LTE connectivity, GM is adding Marketplace to millions of existing 2017 and 2018 model year cars, trucks and crossovers that have compatible infotainment systems, with continued rollout to compatible new vehicles. A separate data plan is not required to use Marketplace.

and in the window at the top of the page, the first brands accessible through Marketplace include:

—GM lets customers buy 4G LTE Data packages, extend their OnStar subscription or receive offers for certified service, parts and accessories for their specific vehicle.

—Starbucks offers another convenient way for customers to order ahead and enjoy their favorite handcrafted beverage or food item. And as part of the Starbucks Rewards program, members enjoy more value by earning Rewards towards free food and drink.

—Dunkin’ Donuts will help customers start their day off right through an experience that allows DD Perks members to preorder and pay onscreen for their favorite coffee and donut, at their preferred pickup location.

—Wingstop will allow you to skip the wait by re-ordering your favorites and paying ahead, so you can get home in time for the big game

—TGI Fridays will let customers schedule a table reservation for them and their closest friends and family when they need a break from the week.

—Shell will enable the exceptional driver experience, providing ease of payment and savings with INSTANT GOLD STATUS in the Fuel Rewards program. Customers’ closest Shell station will be identified and station amenities showcased among the largest fuel station network in the U.S., with the ability to pay in-dash coming soon.

—ExxonMobil will quickly locate Exxon and Mobil fuel stations with details of what they offer, route you there and get you back on the road faster.

—Priceline.com gives drivers access to hundreds of thousands of hotels and exclusive hotel savings on the go.

—Parkopedia allows drivers to find, reserve and pay for parking, all at the click of a button.

—Applebee’s ensures customers are never too far from Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood whether close to home or miles away with the ability to locate their nearest restaurant, order featured menu items and reorder recent favorites through the convenience of their vehicle’s touchscreen.

—IHOP makes it easy for guests to enjoy hot, fresh all-day breakfast favorites like fluffy buttermilk pancakes on the go, thanks to safe and secure on-dash ordering and location service capabilities that help search and find the nearest restaurant for pickup.

—delivery.com empowers the neighborhood economy by enabling customers to order online from their favorite local restaurants, wine and spirits shops, grocery stores and laundry and dry-cleaning providers.

“The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving. Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for global connected customer experience at GM. “Marketplace is the first of a suite of new personalization features that we will roll out over the next 12 to 18 months to nearly four million U.S. drivers.”

To allow merchants to integrate their content as part of the in-vehicle Marketplace ecosystem, GM is working with three main platform partners: Xevo, Conversable and Sionic Mobile.

In addition to improving the in-vehicle experience, Marketplace's seamless in-vehicle connectivity can allow merchant partners to extend their customer relationships into millions of vehicles, where drivers and passengers spend hundreds of hours each year. Marketplace also can leverage real-time interaction data such as location, time of day, etc., as well as Xevo’s strong merchant partnerships and years of automotive software expertise in vehicle applications, cloud and mobile software, machine learning, and data analysis to deliver a highly-personalized experience that makes time spent in the car more productive and enjoyable.

Xevo’s partnership with IBM augments Xevo’s solution by enabling in-vehicle experiences powered by IBM Watson for Marketplace and other automotive OEMs.

“Connected cars are the future of the automotive industry, and a personalized journey is the future of the automotive user experience. Marketplace enables smarter, safer, more productive journeys so that GM can deliver the tailored services their customers really want,” Xevo chief executive officer Dan Gittleman said.

“Marketplace simplifies people's daily lives by helping them make the most of their time. By combining Xevo’s artificial intelligence, car, cloud, and mobile expertise with General Motors, we have delivered a powerful solution that improves the driving experience, while also helping merchant brands strengthen customer loyalty and increase satisfaction,” Gittleman went on to say.

CPO car sales pass 2.4 million units


Certified pre-owned vehicle sales in November were steady with year-ago figures, and year-to-date numbers remained slightly above the pace from 2016.

According to Autodata Corp., CPO sales climbed 0.1 percent year-over-year, reaching 202,824 units for the month.

Through 11 months, there have been 2.42 million certified sales, which is 0.6 percent stronger than year-ago figures.

Domestics showed the most year-over-year strength in November, increasing their CPO sales 6.9 percent to 69,786 units, Autodata said. Through 11 months, Big 3 CPO sales are up 1.1 percent at 834,112 units sold. 

Certified sales for Asian brands dipped 2.7 percent in November, as they sold 99,261 vehicles. For the year, they are down 0.5 percent at 1.18 million sold.

European-brand CPO sales dipped 4 percent in November, with 33,777 CPO vehicles sold. Through 11 months, they are up 2.5 percent at 409,686 units sold.

Of note on the European side, Porsche had its best-ever month for certified, selling 1,749 CPO units in November (up 23.5 percent), according to Autodata. 

CPO winners honored at Used Car Week

LA QUINTA, Calif.  - 

IntelliChoice, Vincentric and U.S. News & World Report each recognized certified pre-owned program award winners during the Used Car Awards luncheon, sponsored by TradeRev. 

The luncheon, which also recognized other dealer-level and industry awards, was held during Used Car Week in La Quinta, Calif., last week.

Starting with IntelliChoice, Kia earned honors as the Best Popular Program Award winner, while Volvo was recognized as the Best Premium Program.  

Its full list of winners is below: 

— Best Premium Program Award: Volvo

— Best Premium Warranty Award: Volvo

— Best Premium Brand Used Ownership Costs Award: Cadillac

— Best Popular Program Award: Kia

— Best Popular Warranty Award: Kia

— Best Popular Brand Used Ownership Costs Award: General Motors

“CPO warranties and special financing offers are two important elements of CPO programs as identified by buyers, and are also the two elements that see the most changes from year to year as manufacturers look for ways to attract consumers,” Intellichoice analyst Debbie Eldridge said in a news release.

“Several manufacturers now offer multiple warranties based on the age and mileage of the vehicle, and some manufacturers offer special financing every month while others will have specials throughout the year.”

 gave its inaugural Best Certified Pre-Owned Program honors to Lexus.

At Vincentric, winning the brand awards this year were Ford, Lincoln, Toyota and Audi. Ford secured the most model-level awards, as well, receiving recognition in eight categories. 

A full recap of Vincentric’s awards can be found here.

Stay tuned to the Dec. 15 issue of AuSM for a full rundown of these awards and others that were recognized during Used Car Week. 

Ford stands out in Vincentric 2017 Best CPO Value in America awards

LA QUINTA, Calif.  - 

Vincentric announced the lineup in its fifth annual Vincentric Best Certified Pre-Owned Value in America awards on Tuesday. Winning the brand awards this year were Ford, Lincoln, Toyota and Audi. Ford secured the most model-level awards, as well, recieving recognition in eight categories. 

The Blue Oval received brand awards for the CPO trucks, SUVs & crossovers, and vans categories, and Lincoln came out on top for the CPO luxury SUV & crossover category. Toyota secured the brand award for best CPO passenger car, and Audi won for the best CPO luxury car.

In addition to the brand awards, for each vehicle segment. Hyundai, BMW, Volvo, Chevrolet, Lexus and Honda all had multiple winners as did Ford, Lincoln, Toyota and Audi. Ford led the pack with eight model-level awards. This is how results broke down for the brands with multiple model awards: 

  • Hyundai: Hyundai Elantra, compact hatchback; Hyundai Veloster, sports car
  • BMW: BMW 4-Series, luxury coupe; BMW i3, luxury electric/plug-in hybrid
  • Volvo: Volvo S80, premium luxury mid-size sedan; Volvo V60, luxury wagon
  • Chevrolet: Chevrolet Corvette, luxury sports car; Chevrolet Silverado 2500, full-size 3/4-ton pickup
  • Lexus: Lexuc CT 200h, luxury hybrid; Lexus RX 450h, luxury hybrid SUV/crossover
  • Honda: Honda CR-V, compact SUV/crossover; Honda Odyssey, minivan
  • Toyota: Toyota Yaris, subcompact; Toyota Corolla, compact; Toyota Camry; mid-size; Toyota Avalon large sedan; Toyota Rav4 hybrid, hybrid SUV/crossover; Toyota Tacoma, small pickup 
  • Ford: Ford Fusion Hybrid, hybrid; Ford C-MAX Energi, electric/plug-in hybrid; Ford Flex, large SUV/crossover; Ford F-150, full-size 1/2-ton pickup; Ford F-350, full-tize 1-ton pickup; Ford Transit Connect, small commercial van; Ford Transit, large passenger van; Ford Transit, large cargo van 
  • Audi: Audi A3, luxury compact; Audi A5, premium luxury mid-size coupe; Audi S7, premium luxury large sedan; Audi A5, luxury convertible
  • Lincoln: Lincoln MKZ, luxury mid-size sedan; Lincoln MKC, luxury compact SUV/crossover; Lincoln MKX, luxury mid-size SUV/crossover

Highlighting Vincentric’s methodology for the award program, to determine the 2017 Vincentric Best CPO Value in America award winners, the company conducted a statistical analysis to reveal which vehicles had lower than expected ownership costs given their market segment and price. 

The company shared it analyzed over 15,000 vehicle configurations using eight cost factors: depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs. And each CPO vehicle was evaluated in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

“The Vincentric Best CPO Value in America Awards enable consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing vehicles,” said Vincentric’s president, David Wurster.

“Comparing CPO vehicles which have different mileage, warranties and age can be challenging, and our awards can help simplify the decision-making process using our data-driven evaluations,” he continued.

On a national level, certified pre-owned vehicle sales were down 3.3 percent in October, but the year-to-date pace is still on par with the record figures from a year ago.

According to Autodata Corp., there were 200,240 CPO sales for the month, compared to 207,105 certified sales in October 2016.

However, the 2.22 million certified sales through 10 months of the year is up 0.6 percent from the tally from the same period of 2016.


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