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Data Point

2020 Starts With Highest CPO Sales for January in a Decade

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Article Highlights

  1. Sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles increased 8% year over year in January, starting the year off with the highest CPO sales for January in a decade.
  2. For the month, 215,959 CPO units were sold according to an analysis of Motor Intelligence data.
  3. The strong January CPO sales follow a record year for CPO. In 2019, CPO volume hit an all-time high of 2.8 million units, led by the big volume players Honda, Toyota and Chevrolet.

Sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles increased 8% year over year in January, starting the year off with the highest CPO sales for January in a decade. For the month, 215,959 CPO units were sold according to an analysis of Motor Intelligence data, down 8% month over month compared to December, which is typically a high-volume month for CPO sales.

The strong January CPO sales follow a record year for CPO marking the ninth consecutive year of record-breaking sales. In 2019, CPO volume hit an all-time high of 2.8 million units, led by the big volume players Honda, Toyota and Chevrolet.

Automakers are recognizing the increasing importance of CPO vehicles as well. For instance, Honda and Acura announced upgrades last year to their CPO programs that added benefits to consumers and earned them recognition from Autotrader, a Cox Automotive company, as among the 10 best CPO programs.

This year, American Honda launches a national ad campaign, including television ads and a social media program, to promote Honda and Acura CPO to attract consumers frozen out of the new-car market due to affordability issues and to help their dealers be more profitable. Similarly, Mazda launches Mazda Finance on April 1, in part, to address the surge of off-lease volume coming back to the market.

CPO sales volume continues to increase thanks in part to the number of off-lease vehicles returning to dealerships. With an estimated 4.1 million off-lease vehicles returning to the market in 2020, roughly equal to 2019, consumers have an excellent selection of high-contented vehicles to choose from. These vehicles offer the functionality and technology that consumers desire at significant discounts compared to their brand-new counterparts.

Cox Automotive is forecasting CPO sales to remain strong in 2020 due to vehicle affordability challenges, the aforementioned ample supply of off-lease vehicles, and an improving CPO mix. More off-lease vehicles returning to market this year will be popular SUV models, the favored body style for today’s buyer.

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