It was quite a March in the certified pre-owned vehicle market.
Citing information from Autodata, KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos said in his latest monthly report that certified sales last month “were the highest ever,” beating March 2018 figures by 2.7%.
What’s more, there was a 25.7% month-over-month hike in CPO sales for March; adjusted for the four fewer selling days in February, sales were up 11.7%, according to latest Kontos Kommentary.
There were 2.70 million CPO sales last year, among the 11.88 million used cars sold by franchised dealers, according to Edmunds.
“Certified pre-owned vehicles represent a small percentage of franchise used sales, but the opportunity to offer CPO vehicles to buyers priced out of the new-vehicle market will be important to dealers as well as automakers,” Edmunds said in its Used Vehicle Outlook report.
“While consumer interest in CPO programs is mounting, consumers face a learning curve on the benefits and drawbacks of certified vehicles.”
In a mid-March analysis, Cox Automotive analysts were calling for 2.75 million CPO sales this year, which would be up from 2.70 million in 2018.
That would be the ninth straight record year for the CPO market, despite sales falling 1.67% year-over-year in January and coming in flat (down 0.28%) in February.
“CPO sales are being driven by favorable supply as well as strong used retail demand,” Cox Automotive analysts wrote that analysis. “As new-vehicle transaction prices keep going up, affordability pushes more consumers into the used-vehicle market, particularly these gently-used, high-content vehicles.”
As for the most recently completed month, Cox Automotive reported in the April 8 Auto Market Weekly Summary that there was a 3% year-over-year increase in CPO sales during March.