Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Joseph Agresta Jr., chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board and owner of Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp. in Englewood, N.J.
As expected, certified used-vehicle sales set a record in 2013.
Franchised dealers representing 29 CPO programs sold 2,112,761 certified used cars and trucks in the United States last year, 15 percent more than in 2012. The record was no surprise: By the end of November, U.S. CPO sales had topped 2012's total.
Some of the growth came as more brands and their dealers embraced the idea of certifying their used vehicles. Luxury brands have long endorsed CPO sales, in part as a way to offer customers vehicles at lower prices. Now mass-market brands, which have had CPO programs for years, are stepping up their CPO sales, even as smaller brands jump in.
Among brands with CPO sales of more than 25,000 in 2013, those growing fastest were Kia, Subaru, Mazda, Ford (which still includes some Mercury sales), Chevrolet and GMC.
Though the programs generally are very successful, the leaders of some dealer councils say there is room for volume growth and better execution.
Certified used vehicles generally are newer and have been driven fewer miles than typical used vehicles. They also have undergone a thorough inspection and have been approved by the vehicle manufacturer. CPO -- the term comes from the industry expression "certified pre-owned" -- vehicles typically also have extended warranties.