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TORRANCE, Calif. — In the first month of the New Year, certified pre-owned vehicle sales showed a significant slowdown from the record-breaking numbers of January 2009, but there remained some bright spots in the market.

Specifically, CPO sales reached 109,554 units in January, according to Autodata Corp. statistics. This marked a 22.2-percent decrease from the year-ago period, which happened to be best January on record for the certified market.

That said, a few automakers managed to show some strength during January, despite the overall decline in the market.

For instance, Lexus had its strongest January ever for certified sales, with 4,845 units sold. This represented an 11.4-percent increase over the year-ago period, when the previous January sales record was set.

Hyundai also had a strong month, as its CPO sales reached 1,066 units, a 32.1-percent improvement from the prior-year period.

Moreover, Subaru's CPO sales reached 1,325 units, a 15.2-percent upswing compared to January 2009.

However, most automakers reported softer certified sales for January.

Mercedes-Benz dealers notched CPO sales of 6,229, down 7.8 percent from January 2009 (which was the automaker's second-best certified month on record).

"The Mercedes-Benz CPO program has kicked off another year with a strong start. We are pleased with the January result as it exceeded our forecast," said Scott Penza, manager of pre-owned operations for Mercedes-Benz USA. "Our dealers did a great job keeping the momentum going coming off of the year-end."

Nissan North America posted certified sales of 6,227 units, down from 6,713 units a year ago. The Infiniti division's CPO sales were 752 units, compared to 1,055 in January 2009, while Nissan hit CPO sales of 5,475 units, a 3.2-percent decline.

"Total NNA volume was even with last year on a daily selling rate basis. Infiniti was down 22 percent, Nissan was up 5 percent on the same DSR basis," shared Neal Zirkle, Nissan's senior manager for CPO and pre-owned vehicles.

"Infiniti CPO sales came under pressure from rising used values and strong new-vehicle performance. Particularly hard hit this month was our FX CPO sales as our retailers were able to move FX CPO traffic to new FX sales effectively," he continued. "We're pleased with the outcome where more customers are attracted to the brand.

Zirkle added: "Whether they buy a CPO or a new, we're happy to have them in the fold."

He also noted that the Nissan division is offering special APR financing on all 2006 through 2009 model-year CPO units (except GT-R) through March 31, "in support of our dealer network efforts to retail trades taken in during this period."

Toyota, meanwhile, moved 19,623 CPO vehicles during January, a decline of 5.3 percent.

Continuing on, Volkswagen's certified sales fell 26.9 percent to 2,781 units.

"We expected our January results to be lower than last year due to inventory constraints," explained Rob Martin, CPO manager for VW Sales Operations. "We look for this to improve over the next couple of months."

BMW's CPO sales fell 25.6 percent to 7,442 units.

Looking at domestic automakers, Ford sold 9,805 CPO units in the first month of 2010, a 28.3-percent decrease from January 2009.

Lincoln Mercury sold 1,404 certified vehicles (down 25 percent) and Ford moved 8,401 CPO units (down 28.8 percent).

General Motors certified brands combined to sell 21,889 vehicles in January, a 44.3-percent decline from the previous year.

Breaking it down, GM Certified Used Vehicles sold 19,076 units, down 23.9 percent year-over-year. Hummer Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles moved 133 units, off 46.6 percent from January 2009.

Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles had sales of 1,936 vehicles, which was a decrease of 49.9 percent.

Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles moved 533 units, a 43.7-percent dip. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles had January sales of 211 units, a 60.8-percent year-over-year decline.

Chrysler had CPO sales totals of 6,813 vehicles, a 27.7-percent drop. By brand, Dodge moved 2,774 certified units and was down 30.7 percent year-over-year.

Chrysler's certified sales were 1,841 units, down 28.8 percent from January 2009. Jeep moved 2,198 CPO vehicles, a 22.4-percent softening.

Moving on, Audi's CPO sales for January totaled 1,695 units, down from 2,599 from a year ago.

Volvo recorded certified sales of 1,447 units, compared to 2,340 in January 2009.

Honda sold 13,408 CPO vehicles in January, a 2.3-percent year-over-year upswing. Acura had CPO sales of 2,769 units, a decline of 19.3 percent.

Among other brands, Kia sold 446 CPO units, compared to 234 a year ago. Mazda moved 452 certified vehicles, up from 399 in January 2009.

Jaguar moved 311 certified units, compared to 475 last year. Land Rover's CPO sales hit 248, down from 650 vehicles a year ago.

Mini's certified sales were 146 vehicles, up from 125 in January 2009. Porsche sold 494 CPO vehicles, compared to 561 units last year.

Bentley was estimated to have sold 30 CPO vehicles, compared to an estimated 33 units last year. Mitsubishi was estimated to have sold 40, down from an estimated 92 units a year ago.

Maserati moved 12 certified vehicles during the month. In January 2009, it had not begun reporting CPO data.