Back-to-Back Months of Improvement for CPO Market
TORRANCE, Calif. — The certified pre-owned segment showed year-over-year gains for the second straight month in April after 13 consecutive months of declining sales, and one automaker, in particular, seems to be moving out of doldrums after some especially challenging issues earlier in 2010.
Overall, there were 144,117 certified pre-owned units sold throughout the industry, according to statistics from Autodata Corp.
This marks an 8-percent upswing from year-ago figures, as CPO sales continue to build upon the growth experienced in March. That month — which saw CPO sales reach 145,157 vehicles, a 7.3-percent improvement — ended a streak of year-over-year CPO declines that started in February 2009.
So far in 2010, CPO sales have reached 513,771 units, which is down 4.4 percent from last year's rate.
Among individual brands, it appears that Toyota has continued to bounce back from the recall challenges that hampered CPO sales in February. The automaker built on momentum from March to record best-ever certified sales for any month with 31,090 units sold.
This marks a 43.6-percent upswing from year-ago figures and a 14.5-percent hike from Toyota's previous CPO record (24,114), which was set in March 2008, according to Norm Olson, sales operation manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA.
So far in 2010, the automaker's certified sales have improved 13.1 percent to 95,383 units.
"For TCUV, April '10 was an example of a 'perfect storm' with a strong National Toyota Financial Services APR, all regions with incentive contests, an excellent starting inventory, strong dealer sales momentum and outstanding Toyota field support," Olson shared.
"Last month, Toyota teamwork was the key to our success and it will continue to drive us forward in May," he added.
Nissan North America followed a record-breaking March with certified sales that were third-highest in its history. In April, the automaker sold 7,254 CPO units, a figure that trails only March 2010 and March 2009. A year ago, Nissan North America moved 6,042 units.
So far this year, it has sold 29,385 certified vehicles, up from 26,479 units through April of 2009.
By brand, Infiniti had CPO sales of 918, down marginally (0.8 percent) year-over-year, while Nissan reported 6,336 certified units sold, up 23.8 percent.
Offering some commentary on the month, senior manager for CPO and pre-owned vehicles Neal Zirkle said: "Sales of large SUV for both brands declined on availability as supply in this segment is under pressure. Crossovers CPO sales improved from 13 percent of the total a year ago to Nissan brand at 19 percent and Infiniti brand at 22 percent this year.
"CPO Internet activity suffered in April on lower certified inventory availability overall due to the March sales success. Leads generated from our online listings declined in suit," he continued. "Opportunity remains in having CPO inventory online for consumers to find. The dealers who fill this void stand to gain CPO market share in their areas."
Lexus had its top April ever with certified sales of 5,998 units, a gain of 13.9 percent from the prior-year period. So far this year, it has sold 21,348 CPO units, a 15.3-percent improvement.
Mercedes-Benz sold 7,755 CPO vehicles, a 14.1-percent spike over April 2009. Yearly sales have reached 27,934 units, which is a 7.6-percent gain over the same period of 2009.
"Following an extremely successful March, CPO sales continued to remain strong throughout the beginning of 2010," stated Scott Penza, manager of pre-owned operations for Mercedes-Benz USA.
BMW's CPO sales reached 10,621 units, an increase of 13.5-percent over the previous April. Year-to-date sales stand at 38,188 CPO units, relatively flat (up 0.5 percent) from last year.
Volkswagen achieved certified sales of 4,648 vehicles, a 5.8-percent year-over-year rise. Through April, it has moved 14,864 CPO vehicles, down 6.4 percent versus the same time frame of 2009.
Audi sold 2,285 certified units, compared to 2,603 CPO vehicles sold in April 2009. So far this year, it has moved 8,320 certified vehicles, down from 9,248 through the first four months of 2009.
Among domestics, Chrysler saw a 16.6-percent improvement in CPO sales, with 9,639 certified vehicles sold during April. Year-to-date sales are still down 4.3 percent at 33,944 CPO vehicles sold.
By brand, dealers moved 3,856 certified Dodge vehicles, a 10.9-percent uptick, while Jeep's CPO sales climbed 37.9 percent to 3,171 vehicles. The Chrysler brand's certified sales were 2,612 units, a 4.9-percent increase.
At General Motors, its certified brands combined to sell 25,170, compared to 33,586 units a year ago.
Year-to-date sales CPO sales have reached 97,089 units, versus 137,230 through the first four months of 2009.
For comparison purposes, neither monthly nor year-to-date data for either period includes Saab results.
GM Certified Used Vehicles moved 22,789 units in April — which includes sales for Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Pontiac and Saturn — versus 29,788 vehicles in April 2009, a figure that includes sales for Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn.
Among other GM brands, there were 101 Hummer CPO units sold in April, down from 232 a year ago. Cadillac's CPO sales hit 2,280 units, compared to 3,566 certified sales in April 2009.
"April was a satisfactory month for General Motors Certified Used Vehicles. The market is showing signs of improvement with both daily sales rates and inventory levels increasing," commented Paul Pejza, manager of GM Certified Used Vehicles. "GM Certified and our dealers are optimistic we'll see growth in our business during this key spring/summer selling season."
He added: "We continue to have a strong offering nationwide with 3.9 percent APR financing, available now through June 1, 2010 on all 2005-2010 model year GM Certified Pontiac G6's and Chevrolet Malibus.
"GM Certified is also continuing to drive value and innovation by being the first OEM to offer free video inventory listings to our dealers," Pejza continued. "Qualifying dealers now have the opportunity to showcase their inventory on GMCertified.com and select GM CUV partner sites using streaming video, providing access to real-time, vehicle-specific content for each vehicle in their inventory."
Ford reported that it sold 11,829 CPO units, down 1 percent from April 2009. Yearly sales are off 10.1 percent, with the automaker reaching certified sales of 45,685 vehicles.
The Lincoln/Mercury brand moved 1,718 certified vehicles, a 2.5-percent dip, while the Ford brand's CPO sales hit 10,111 units, an 0.8-percent decline.
Continuing on, Honda's CPO sales reached 16,546, a 27.3-percent improvement over April 2009. Meanwhile, year-to-date sales are 60,406 units, a 17.7-percent hike.
Acura moved 3,672 CPO vehicles, an 8.5-percent uptick. So far in 2010, there have been 12,965 certified units sold, off 4 percent from last year's pace.
Over at Subaru, its dealers saw CPO sales rise 45.4 percent with 1,570 units sold. In four months of 2010, the automaker's certified sales have hit 5,755, a 29.9-percent gain.
Volvo sold 1,527 CPO units in April, down from 1,811 last year. Through April it has moved 5,925 CPO vehicles, compared to 7,987 units a year ago.
Hyundai posted CPO sales of 1,582 units, an increase of 41.3 percent compared to April 2009. In 2010, certified sales have reached 5,553, which is 34.6 percent ahead of last year's pace.
Saab sold 266 certified vehicles in April, compared to 493 units in April 2009. So far this year, its CPO sales have reached 928 vehicles, down from 1,943 a year ago.
Among other automakers, Mazda posted certified sales of 499, a gain of 37.8 percent versus year-ago numbers.
CPO sales for Porsche hit 712 units, up 15.8 percent from April 2009.
Jaguar sold 377 certified vehicles, compared to 478 units last year, while Land Rover's monthly CPO sales were at 223 units, down from 558 in April 2009.
Mini moved 212 certified vehicles, up from 167 last year.
Kia's CPO sales were estimated at 550 units, up from 377 a year ago.
Bentley was estimated to have moved 30 certified vehicles, compared to 33 estimated CPO sales last year.
Mitsubishi moved 39 units, compared to 75 last year.
Maserati posted certified sales of 23 units and had not begun reporting CPO data in April 2009.