Mazda's certified unit sales slid 6 percent to 19,066 in the first half. But the ratio of CPO sales to new-vehicle sales has risen notably in recent years, said Masahiro Moro, CEO of Mazda North American Operations.
About five years ago, CPO sales equaled "5 or 6 percent" of Mazda dealerships' new-vehicle sales, he said. Then, the automaker gave its dealers a goal of raising that, first to 8 percent, then to 10 percent. As dealerships met those targets, dealers began to see the financial benefits of a strong CPO program. In the first six months of 2016, CPO sales equaled 13.8 percent of Mazda dealerships' new-vehicle sales, Moro said.
"My intention is to grow that to 20 percent in three years," he added.
He noted that the stronger CPO program, along with reduced fleet sales and incentives, has had another benefit. Mazda's residual values "used to be bottom of the industry," in about 2010-11, Moro said. Now, they are "close to the top of the industry," within "maybe 2 to 3" percentage points of Toyota's, he said.
Nissan Division's CPO unit sales of 88,572 for the first six months rose 8 percent from the year-earlier period.
The brand projects its calendar-year CPO sales total to reach "closer to 190,000 units this year," up from 170,639 in 2015, said Martin Gleason, senior manager of CPO and pre-owned for Nissan-brand vehicles. The brand's off-lease volume is expected to grow 17 percent this year, he added.
He said CPO vehicles come with factory warranties and are an easy sell to customers who want peace of mind. Dealers and Nissan benefit because owners of Nissan CPO vehicles have a loyalty rate of 50 percent to the Nissan brand, vs. a 36 percent loyalty rate for owners of noncertified used Nissan vehicles.
"We're one of the faster growing CPO programs," Gleason said, "and we think there is more potential."