In this week's edition of Automotive News, you'll find a data-centric story I wrote laying out how U.S. sales of certified pre-owned vehicles fell last year.
And fell they did — to 2.49 million vehicles, down 9.4 percent from 2.75 million in 2021, according to figures compiled by the Automotive News Research & Data Center. It was the lowest annual volume since 2014, when sales of 2.34 million certified vehicles were recorded.
Not surprisingly then, the majority of automakers saw their certified used-vehicle sales fall year over year. Dealers and brand executives overseeing automakers' certified sales operations detailed how changing industry conditions between 2021 and 2022 led to such a downturn.
They grappled last year with tighter supply of certification-eligible inventory, a direct result of stunted new-vehicle production in 2020 and 2021. The supply challenge worsened as more consumers took to buying out their vehicle lease when they realized they couldn't easily get a new one — meaning dealers didn't get that trade-in ripe to be certified.
Some automakers have made moves they say are helping offset a supply crunch. Digital used-vehicle sales platforms are part of the strategy for some.
Ford Motor Co. is tapping into retail technology trends and says it is seeing sales gains and increased dealer participation through its Blue Advantage digital used-vehicle platform.
Hyundai rebranded its certified used-vehicle program and expanded certification eligibility to vehicles up to 6 years old or with up to 80,000 miles.
All in all, it's a little different from articles I have written before.
Certification parameters are nuanced. They vary by automaker and dealer. I found plenty to learn about in writing about this slice of the used-vehicle industry.
Dealers, are you engaging with and finding success with digital used-vehicle sales platforms such as Blue Advantage and General Motors' CarBravo? Did your certified sales fall last year because of tighter supply or other industry conditions? What else should I know about the nuances of the CPO business? Send me an email at [email protected].