Thanks to Volkswagen's vigorous support, sales through its certified used-vehicle program are rising this year.
The VW brand sold 7,611 certified used vehicles in May, a 5 percent increase from May 2011. In the first five months of the year, it sold 36,355 certified used vehicles, 18 percent more than it sold in the year-earlier period.
Industrywide, certified used-vehicle sales in May rose 9 percent to 156,999 over May 2011, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Sales this year through May were up 5 percent to 754,950.
One VW certified program enhancement came on Jan. 1. Factory-backed warranties covering VW-brand certified used vehicles became transferable without charge when one consumer buys the vehicle from another.
Volkswagen of America dropped the $75 fee to provide peace of mind to buyers of used VW vehicles who might be concerned about the cost of ownership, says Scott Weitzman, VW general manager of used-vehicle operations.
"We want to make it as easy as possible to really engage customers with the Volkswagen brand," Weitzman says. "If a customer sells a vehicle that has a [certified used-vehicle] warranty, all the new customer has to do is send a letter -- it's spelled out pretty clearly in the warranty manual -- to Volkswagen and at no cost, we'll transfer it over into their name."
Weitzman says the cost of owning a VW vehicle used to be higher than for some other nonluxury brand vehicles, but no longer. He says VW's improved service record and its comprehensive 24-month/24,000-mile certified used-vehicle warranty gives buyers peace of mind about their purchase.