Automakers look to certified pre-owned vehicle sales as a way to build loyalty to their brands. And they don't seem afraid that more shoppers moving to these lightly used cars and trucks will steal sales from new vehicles.
"We don't look at it as cannibalization of new-vehicle sales because people that shop for used cars, shop for used cars. People that shop for new, shop new," said Ron Cooney, Toyota Motor North America's CPO sales operation manager. "Now, there is a segment of people that do shop both. But that's not cannibalization; that's what's best for my budget, what kind of car do I need, those types of things."
Toyota's lead-tracking system shows that 40 percent of Toyota's certified used leads resulting in a sale come from consumers who eventually buy a new Toyota. In other words, four out of 10 buyers who begin the shopping process for a Toyota CPO vehicle end up buying a new car or truck.
However, as new-vehicle prices rise and automakers show discipline on incentives, more consumers will go from a CPO vehicle to another CPO, rather than move from CPO to new, Cooney said.
Toyota has seen a slight increase since March in the number of consumers doing just that. "But they're not migrating away from new to used," he said. "Just don't see it."