Kia Motors America expects to increase certified used-vehicle sales by more than 16 percent to 75,000 this year, said Brad Beer, national manager, CPO and remarketing.
Kia is among the last automakers to embrace certified used vehicles in big way, but its certified pre-owned sales growth is outpacing the industry as a whole.
Through August, the company's certified sales grew almost 17 percent to 50,827, according to the Automotive News Data Center. In the same period, industrywide certified used sales grew 4.3 percent to 1,792,104.
Beer attributes the sales boost to a steady stream of off-lease vehicles, as well as the company listing dealers' certified inventory on major online classified sites at no charge to dealers.
Another factor this year: Four full-time national CPO representatives -- funded and facilitated by Kia's warranty administrator partner, JM&A Group -- began calling on Kia dealers to train, support and discuss the benefits of selling vehicles covered by Kia's CPO warranty.
"These are highly qualified guys who have worked in dealerships, so they have real-world experience," Beer said. "They can train dealers about the program and F&I, and they know our [programs] inside and out."
About 70,000 Kia vehicles are expected to come off lease this year, up from 40,000 in 2015, Beer said. That number is expected to grow to more than 100,000 in 2017.
He credits dealers with seeing CPO as a good business opportunity. Some have improved a section of their lot or acquired adjacent lots to accommodate CPO vehicles.
Of Kia's 775 dealers, he said a number in the "low 600s" has embraced certified used-vehicle sales.
"Car dealers are great entrepreneurs," he said. "When they see an opportunity, they expand to reap the benefits of that opportunity with a return on investment."
A selling point touted by the representatives, Beer said, is that Kia dealers pay $450 for a CPO warranty that reinstates a qualifying vehicle's factory powertrain coverage for 10 years/100,000 miles, starting from the time the vehicle was sold as new.
The warranty also includes a 12-month/12,000-mile "platinum" service contract "that is as close to bumper-to-bumper that you can get, without calling it a bumper-to-bumper warranty," Beer said.
Increasing the number of Kia CPO vehicles listed online also is helping to boost sales, Beer said.
The company redesigned its certified website this year and added a direct link to kia.com. It lists about 7,000 vehicles a month on Autotrader, Cars.com, CarsGurus, KBB.com and Kia's corporate site, up from an average of 2,000 vehicles a month in December 2013. The company retailed 34,583 CPO units that year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Next year, Beer said, he expects to increase the number of vehicles listed on those sites by at least 1,000 and devote more of his marketing budget to Google searches as the number of off-lease and retired rental Kias grows.
Meanwhile, Beer said, Kia is "speaking with [Kia Motors Finance] about" the possibilities of CPO leasing.