Bentley Motors describes itself as “the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world.”
Now, the automaker has launched a new program that it says “sets the benchmark for exclusive pre-owned cars.”
Bentley Motors estimates that about 85% of all Bentleys ever built are still on the road. The company describes its new Certified by Bentley program as “a rarefied ownership experience” that it says “offers complete peace of mind and meticulous attention to detail.”
The company says each Certified by Bentley model is prepared “to an impeccable standard to ensure total confidence for the buyer.”
That impeccable preparation includes a detailed Bentley technical inspection, access to Bentley’s retailer network expertise and factory-trained technicians.
Bentley says every Certified by Bentley car is fully serviced with only genuine Bentley parts when needed. The company adds that customers have the option of extending its one-year warranty for “continued reassurance.”
A certificate of authenticity is included with every Bentley in the program.
That, according to the company, provides evidence of where it was manufactured and a full service history.
“Serving as a guarantee of quality and performance, these documents provide extra reassurance about the heritage and exemplary craftsmanship that is the hallmark of every Bentley,” the company said in a news release.
“When a customer selects a Certified by Bentley car, they are making an investment in a brand that has always crafted extraordinary vehicles,” said Bentley Motors head of pre-owned Mark Keeping.
Keeping continued, “The exceptional quality of every car means that whether new or Certified by Bentley, owning a Bentley is a wise decision.”
Because cost of ownership is lower than might be expected, that helps make owning a Bentley an option for more potential customers, Keeping said.
He added, “And every car hand-built at our headquarters in Crewe, England, meets the same exquisite standards regardless of when it was built.”
Bentley said the program also gives owners access to what it describes as “a unique and select lifestyle that comes with joining the brand’s network of discerning customers.”
Ownership benefits include invitations to exclusive events around the world, a Bentley factory tour and a subscription to Bentley Magazine.
Bentley writes, “Few cars on the road are as finely crafted as a Certified by Bentley model.”
The company continues, “With a heritage stretching back 100 years, every car to bear the Bentley marque has been built to the same exacting standards, with no compromise on luxury or performance.”
A familiar name has once again topped U.S. News & World Report’s CPO brand rankings. And it also continues a win streak on the pre-owned awards circuit.
U.S. News Best Cars has named its Best Certified Pre-Owned Program award winner for 2020, and taking top honors for the fourth year is Lexus.
(U.S. News Best Cars is the automotive arm of U.S News & World Report.)
The award, announced here Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report, each year recognizes the program with the most benefits for consumers, utilizing U.S. News Best Used Cars rankings data as well as program information from the CPO brands.
Lexus, specifically, was recognized for the length of its warranty, among other benefits, the publication said in a news release. That warranty coverage lasts for up to two years and has no mileage limit or deductible.
Lexus was also lauded for program amenities like roadside assistance, complimentary loaner cars and four free factory maintenance service visits within the first two years/20,000 miles of owning the car. Moreover, Lexus earned points for its used-car dependability.
"Lexus offers used-car buyers an excellent CPO warranty, as well as a long list of CPO program benefits, like free maintenance visits and a free loaner car," U.S. News Best Cars executive editor Jamie Page Deaton said in the release.
"As an added bonus, Lexus' reliability record means that while their CPO warranty is long, and the program has a lot of perks, owners may never need to use either,” she said.
Lexus also picked up honors in the Vincentric Best Certified Pre-Owned Value in America Awards, which were handed out last week at Used Car Week.
Lexus picked up five segment-level awards in that program, while also winning the Luxury Car brand award for the third straight time.
What’s more, Lexus was the top premium brand in the 2020 Pre-Owned Value Awards from ALG, honors that were also handed out at Used Car Week.
Among the festivities during Used Car Week 2019, the seventh annual Vincentric Best Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Value in America Awards were announced.
Leading the way was Ford, which collected six model-level awards. Lexus and Subaru also demonstrated strong CPO value with five and four model-level awards, respectively.
The best in class performance by Ford Vans earned them the Best CPO Value brand award in the Van category for the fourth consecutive year, while a notable showing by Subaru earned the OEM top honors in both the Passenger Car and SUV/Crossover categories.
Lexus took home the Luxury Car brand award for the third time, and Ram won the Truck category brand award for the second year in a row.
Volvo rounded out the brand award winners in the Luxury SUV/Crossover category.
Other brands with multiple model-level victories included Volvo with three awards, while Audi, Ram, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Nissan showed their strength in the certified pre-owned market with two awards each.
“The Vincentric Best CPO Value in America Awards use a rigorous statistical analysis to determine cost of ownership for competing vehicles,” Vincentric president David Wurster said in a news release.
“Our awards take the guess-work out of shopping for certified pre-owned vehicles by clearly showing consumers which models provide the best value for their money in a variety of segments,” Wurster continued.
To determine the 2020 Vincentric Best CPO Value in America Award winners, Vincentric explained that it conducted a statistical analysis to reveal which vehicles had lower than expected ownership costs given their market segment and price. Vincentric analyzed more than 15,000 vehicle configurations using eight cost factors, including:
—Fees and taxes
The company explained the costs were measured after incorporating the specific CPO warranty offered by the manufacturer while also applying mileage requirements necessary to be authorized as an OEM CPO vehicle.
Each CPO vehicle was evaluated in all 50 states plus Washington D.C., with the assumption that each would be driven 15,000 miles annually over five years.
Further information regarding the 2020 Vincentric Best CPO Value in America Awards and methodology is available at www.vincentric.com.
ALG chief industry analyst Eric Lyman describes certified pre-owned vehicles as a “key contributor to franchise dealer profitability,” and “an indispensable tool for automakers to manage off-lease volume.”
With that in mind, ALG announced the winners of the 2020 Pre-Owned Value Awards, which Lyman says help consumers “zero in on desirable late-model used vehicles that hold their value the most over the next three years.”
For 2020, ALG ranked Toyota and Lexus as the top mainstream brand and premium brand across the board.
ALG awarded the 2020 Pre-Owned Value Awards to vehicles with the lowest forecasted depreciation from 2 years of age to 5 years of age, during the period 2019-2022. ALG bases vehicle segmentation on its proprietary automotive segmentation. That takes into account information such as vehicle size, transaction price, and cross-shop information.
The company will present the awards to automakers today during Used Car Week 2019 in Las Vegas.
With six segment awards, Toyota is the Mainstream Brand leader. The Sequoia, Camry, Tacoma, Highlander, Sienna and 4Runner were the winners, and Toyota has now won POVA’s overall Mainstream Brand category three times.
In the Premium category, Mercedes-Benz leads as the front-runner with four awards in the Electric, Midsize Commercial, Premium Compact and Premium Executive categories.
This year, ALG introduced the Premium Subcompact Utility category, with the Audi Q3 taking top honors.
In the Premium Performance category The Nissan GT-R continued its dominance. That vehicle won the Pre-Owned Value Award for the fourth year in a row.
ALG determines award winners through analysis of used-vehicle performance, brand outlook and product competitiveness.
To be eligible for a brand award, a manufacturer must have vehicle entries in at least four different segments. To account for differences across trim levels, model averages are weighted based on percentage share relative to the entire model line.
The full list of winners:
Electric: Mercedes B-Class
Compact: Ford C-Max
Compact utility: Jeep Compass
Full size: Kia Cadenza
Full-size commercial: Ram ProMaster
Full-size pickup: GMC Sierra 1500
Full-size utility: Toyota Sequoia
Midsize: Toyota Camry
Midsize commercial: Mercedes-Benz Metris
Midsize pickup: Toyota Tacoma
Midsize utility 2nd row seating: Subaru Outback
Midsize utility 3rd row seating: Toyota Highlander
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Off-road utility: Toyota 4Runner
Premium Subcompact utility: Audi Q3
Premium compact: Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
Premium compact utility: Land Rover Discovery Sport
Premium executive: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Premium fullsize: Cadillac CT6
Premium fullsize utility: Cadillac Escalade
Premium midsize: Infiniti Q50
Premium midsize utility 2nd row seating: Lexus RX
Premium midsize utility 3rd row seating: Lexus GX
Premium sportscar: Nissan GT-R
Sportscar: Subaru BRZ
Subcompact: Mitsubishi Mirage
Subcompact utility: Honda HR-V
Certified wholesale vehicles sell faster and at rates 4 to 8% higher than their uncertified counterparts, according to a recent white paper from Manheim Consulting.
The paper, titled, “Certification Impact on Low Grade & High Mileage Units,” also showed that certification can mean one-third fewer arbitrations.
According to the white paper, the benefits and returns of certification are even greater as mileage goes higher than 75,000. That, according to the company, is a signal of buyers’ willingness to pay a premium for the guarantee of a mechanically sound unit.
That can be the case even at a lower grade or higher mileage, the company said.
Manheim Consulting added that giving buyers confidence in their purchases is the key to making the sale. Certifications for older and high mileage cars can give buyers the confidence they need to purchase vehicles faster. They can also mean a competitive edge and stronger profits for sellers.
Manheim says its own certification program, Manheim Certified, can improve profit margins for the seller and protect the interests of all involved parties. The program, according to the company, gives buyers more confidence to do business by providing them with a seven-day, 300-mile guarantee.
The company responds if a repair is needed. Manheim will repair the vehicle in-house or cover the costs of the repair.
Or, in periodic cases, Manheim will take the vehicle back.
Under the program, Manheim Certified unit sellers don’t have to worry about arbitration, according to the company, because the company removes the seller from the post-sale claims process.
Manheim says additional benefits and competitive advantages of certifications can be 6.6% more Simulcast sales, 48% wider Simulcast audience reach, and more bids per vehicle.
For Manheim Certified, which is available to all sellers in the Manheim marketplace, vehicles must be under 125,000 miles.
Also to qualify, they must have an InSight Condition Report and be on-site.
“Manheim’s goal is to build trust and confidence between buyers and sellers within the wholesale market,” Cox Automotive vice president of Assurance Brett Woods said in a news release.
Woods added, “While this data reinforces that vehicles with Certifications are at an advantage, we’re also reminded that giving buyers assurance before the sale is the best way to create a positive experience and earn loyalty.”
Meet “Shirley,” the new brand ambassador for SureSale Certified.
The company, which describes itself as “the gold standard for quality used vehicles and purchase protection,” launched a new multi-channel advertising campaign centered around Shirley, who SureSale describes as a “trusted advisor.”
According to the company, Shirley helps consumers understand that with SureSale, they can “Be Sure” that their SureSale Certified vehicle will be a quality one. The campaign premiered in the Louisville, Ky., market, with plans to expand to other U.S. markets in the coming months.
“We created a whole new category of used vehicle with SureSale Certified, so it was critical that we support it with a marketing campaign that both educates consumers and inspires them to opt for a SureSale Certified vehicle – all while being whimsical enough to entertain,” SureSale president and co-founder Jeffrey Schwartz said in a news release. “With Shirley, we have generated a broadcast campaign that embodies SureSale Certified, as well as distinctive point-of-sale merchandising that will give our auto dealer partners a competitive edge.”
To find a spokesperson to help car buyers understand why they should buy a SureSale Certified vehicle — and to reflect the essence of SureSale — the company conducted a nationwide search.
“We believe that SureSale is a truly disruptive and truly positive development for the auto industry, offering benefits for both car buyers and auto dealerships alike,” said SureSale chief executive officer and co-founder Donny Hall. “With humor, Shirley offers confidence and clarity to used-car buyers, and we are sure that consumers will soon be heading for dealerships that offer SureSale vehicles.”
SureSale Certified vehicles are currently available at dealerships around the country. They come with a free CAReport (comprehensive auto report), clean title, 150-point inspection, a five-month, 5,000-mile comprehensive warranty, a five-day exchange guarantee, and extended protection plans.
SureSale says when consumers know the past, present and future of each SureSale Certified vehicle, they can “buy with confidence and own with peace of mind.”
For dealers, SureSale says they have a consumer-friendly selling proposition that helps them turn vehicles faster during what the company describes as an ongoing market shift to used vehicles. The company describes Shirley as an important component of the marketing dealership toolkit that helps dealers sell SureSale Certified vehicles.
As the decline in new-vehicle sales continues, SureSale says more consumers want the assurance of a certified pre-owned vehicle. But the company says that because of automaker program brand restrictions, only a fraction of auto dealership inventories are CPO vehicles. SureSale Certified expands the number of certified vehicles that dealerships can offer consumers.
SureSale Certified allows auto dealerships to extend consumer protections to a wider range of vehicles, which the company says is similar to auto manufacturer CPO programs. That range is up to 15 years, 150,000 miles for more than 20 brands.
The following features come standard with SureSale Certified vehicles:
— Clean VIN and free CAReport (Comprehensive Auto Report)
— 150-point certified inspection
— Five-month/5,000-mile comprehensive warranty
— Five-day exchange guarantee
— Extended protection plans up to 36 months or 36,000 miles
The Ram brand at FCA US made quite a splash in the new-vehicle market last month, hitting its best sales month since becoming a standalone brand a decade ago.
The stats are quite impressive: June’s sales of 68,098 units were a 56% increase, according to FCA.
That begs the question: Is Ram’s success on the new-car side also being seen in certified pre-owned, as well?
It would appear so.
There were 4,739 CPO Ram vehicles sold in June, a 7.9% year-over-year increase, said Eric Swanson, who is head of certified pre-owned vehicles at FCA.
The year-to-date improvement (16.4%) is even stronger, with 28,311 CPO Ram sales through June.
“It's no surprise that the Ram 1500 is our number one selling CPO vehicle,” Swanson said in an email. “I think our big driver of success is our dealers recognize customers want a great used Ram truck with a CPO warranty backed by the factory.
“Dealers can get them at our auctions, they can get them as lease returns, they can get them in trades and by stocking those they have all kinds of options with a customer,” he said.
“Once they are inspected, reconditioned and certified, the traditional used-vehicle buyer has an amazing truck with peace of mind with the CPO,” Swanson said. “Then we have the new body style Ram with incredible looks and performance, so moving them over to the new truck is very easy to do.
“They really feed off each other.”
Going back to the new-vehicle market, June was the third time since December that there have been more than 60,000 new Rams sold, head of U.S. sales Reid Bigland said in a news release.
“For the first-half of 2019, Ram has been on a tear since we made the strategic decision to enter the year with a three-truck strategy. The new Ram 1500, Ram Classic and Heavy Duty are all generating a huge response from customers and critics alike,” Bigland said. “This is now the third month Ram pickup sales have surpassed 60,000 since December. Our dealers had a steady stream of customers all month long.”