Miller Toyota of Manassas, Va., has been familiar with certified used-car programs for quite some time. The Washington-area store was a pilot dealer for Toyota's program in 1995.
"We had always gone the extra mile in delivering good reconditioned cars," says Ken Shepherd, 49, Miller Toyota general manager. "When the program came along, we saw it as an opportunity to put the Toyota name behind our philosophy."
The program quickly expanded throughout Toyota's South Atlantic region. The following year, Toyota took its certified used-car program nationwide, becoming one of the first manufacturers to standardize used-car reconditioning.
Miller Toyota had great success with the initial slogan Toyota used back then and still uses today: "The best new cars make the best used cars."
"We have very few trade-ins on our used-car lot," Shepherd says. "Most of our new-car buyers don't bring in their old Toyotas when it's time to make a new purchase. They pass them on to their kids and relatives."
That's why about 85 percent of Miller Toyota's used-car inventory comes from auctions. About 10 percent come from trade-ins, and the rest are lease returns.