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'Certifieds' Up Sharply, Head For 500,000 In '02

August 23, 2002

Nearly 300,000 certified used vehicles were sold in the first seven months of this year, double last year's pace and a testimonial to the growing market power of the "certified" label. Most certified program directors expect the total to approach 500,000 by year-end and advance substantially in 2003.

Certifieds are found to be a higher revenue and profit generator for dealers, carrying as they do 75-point to 110-point inspection checks and separately designated lanes in dealer used-vehicle lots.

For F&I managers, certifieds often result in increased sales of extended service contracts and antitheft devices. They also are easier to re-lease because their condition is markedly better than non-certified vehicles.

GM led certified vehicle sales in the January-July period with 171,085 units, excluding Cadillac's 15,438, Saturn's 9,487 and Saab's 1,944.

Both Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. and American Honda surpassed Ford Motor Co. in the certified derby. The Toyota/Lexus total was 160,328; American Honda, 108,897; and Ford, 104,889. Toyota brands exceeded Honda, 136,614 to 93,887, while Lexus outstripped Acura, 23,714 to 15,010.

DaimlerChrysler, which launched a certified program last October, reported 60,849 certifieds for the seven-month period, of which 25,262 are Mercedes-Benz units. Mercedes was outpaced by BMW for the period, with its archrival at 34,631.

Volkswagen listed 18,509 certifieds and its Audi division, 8,158. Ford said its total included 75,062 Ford, Mercury and Lincoln units, plus 20,713 Volvos, 5,842 Jaguars and 3,292 Land Rovers.

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