Volvo Cars of North America's certified used-vehicle program, while small overall, has registered big sales gains amid industrywide sales strength.
In the first half, Volvo sold 9,832 certified vehicles, up 47 percent compared with the same period last year. That came on top of a 39 percent gain in its certified-vehicle sales in 2014, to 14,129.
Rick Bryant, executive vice president of sales operations at Volvo, said the company is putting more focus on its certified used-vehicle program after scaling it back during the recession and its 2010 sale to China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.
Volvo's certified sales are being stoked by an "exponential" increase in its digital marketing efforts and the 20,000 off-lease vehicles it expects to see this year, he said. He predicts Volvo will end the year with "double-digit" certified sales growth.
"The more we can increase the value of our used cars, the better it is for the value of our new cars," he said. "So there is a full-court press behind it, and that's why you see the kind of growth you see. That will continue for the next four or five years."
At the half-year mark, industrywide sales of certified used vehicles stood at 1,275,411, up 12 percent from the same period last year. The industry sold 212,843 certified units in June, an 18 percent increase over June 2014.
Ford Motor was among several companies with double-digit gains. It sold 145,648 certified used vehicles in the first half, up 10 percent.
Kevin Cour, the automaker's director of U.S. retail network and consumer experience development, said an increased availability of off-lease vehicles is stoking his company's certified sales, too.
"It's great business," he said during a break at the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers' annual meeting this month in Miami Beach, Fla.
"That's the foundation that any brand needs to build their long-term residual value plan on," he said. "We're going to continue to invest in the program. The dealers are super-engaged, Ford Credit is super-engaged, and everybody is working toward the same goal, which is to control the distribution of our off-lease inventory."