General Motors has overtaken Toyota Division as the top seller of certified used vehicles and is on its way to exceeding its 2002 sales goal of 200,000 units.
Toyota Division isn't taking GM's sales news lying down.
On Wednesday, May 1, Toyota Certified Used Vehicles enhanced its roadside assistance program by extending it from 12 months to the full term of the warranty, which is six-years/100,000 miles from the date when the vehicle was sold as new.
GM Certified Used Vehicles sold 26,229 cars and trucks in April for a year-to-date total of 84,967 units.
Toyota Certified Used Vehicles, which held the certified sales crown in 2000 and 2001, sold 19,599 vehicles in April for a year-to-date total of 78,896.
The GM totals do not include sales of Cadillac, Saab and Saturn certified used vehicles, which are marketed under their own brands and counted separately.
GM Certified Used Vehicles includes Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile and Pontiac.
Bill Lovejoy, GM's group vice president for sales, service and marketing, said he is pleased with the certified used-vehicle sales results. He said that when Cadillac, Saab and Saturn are included, the company is tracking to sell 300,000 certified units this year.
Lovejoy said GM Certified Used Vehicles and the Cadillac, Saab and Saturn certified programs together could sell 500,000 units in 2003.
"We should be bigger; we have a larger distribution group," Lovejoy said.
He said Toyota Division has done a good job with its certified used-vehicle program.
Toyota Certified Used Vehicles sold 196,926 units in 2001 and 154,911 in 2000.
Faced with thousands of off-lease vehicles and sagging residuals, GM got serious about certified used vehicles in 2001.
GM Certified Used Vehicles sold 103,030 units in 2001, up from 30,000 in 2000.
Lovejoy attributes the GM sales increases to the automaker's allowing dealers to use co-op funds to help publicize the used-vehicle program and finance programs that are like those for new cars.
He said those things attracted more dealers to the program and more consumers into the dealerships.
Though GM Certified Used Vehicles is the sales leader with about 3,000 dealerships participating, Toyota Certified Used Vehicles made its mark in the industry with one brand and 1,014 participating dealerships.