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J.D. Power and Associates: Certified Used Vehicles Account for More Than One-Third of Sales

November 19, 2002

Sales of certified used vehicles have increased 46

percent since 2000, with certified used vehicles comprising an estimated 35

percent of late-model used vehicles sold in 2002, according to the J.D.

Power and Associates 2002 Used-Vehicle Sales and Certification Study.

The inaugural study measures the satisfaction and experiences of owners of

certified used vehicles. "Certified" refers to late-model used vehicles that

have typically undergone a detailed inspection at the dealership and are

sold with manufacturer-backed warranty coverage.

"Certification programs are changing the face of the late-model used-vehicle

market," said Scott Weitzman, senior director of retail programs at J.D.

Power and Associates. "While the traditional used-vehicle sale is motivated

primarily by price, certification programs increase consumer confidence

about the quality of the used vehicle, backed by a strong warranty."

While 53 percent of all used-vehicle buyers are aware of certification

programs before they start shopping, less than one-quarter of buyers who

purchased a certified used vehicle initially set out to do so. However,

awareness of certification programs continues to increase, and the programs

are attracting a significant number of vehicle shoppers who originally

consider only a new vehicle. Nearly one-half of all buyers of certified used

vehicles state they would not have purchased a used vehicle had it not been

for the availability of the certification program.

"In many cases, certified used-vehicle programs are giving new-vehicle

buyers access to a higher class of vehicle than they may have originally

considered along with added perks like free maintenance and roadside

assistance-features that the traditional used-vehicle sale never provided

before," said Weitzman.

According to the study, Lexus ranks highest in satisfying certified used-vehicle owners, receiving

top ratings in each of the factors contributing to overall satisfaction with

certified used-vehicle programs: program features, vehicle quality, shopping

experience and vehicle price. Lexus is followed in the rankings by Jaguar,

BMW and Mercedes-Benz, respectively.

The 2002 Used-Vehicle Sales and Certification Study measures the experiences

of more than 11,000 used-vehicle buyers.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a

global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors

including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer

satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on

responses from millions of consumers annually.

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