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Data Point

March CPO Sales Reach Historic High

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Article Highlights

  1. The certified pre-owned (CPO) market had a record-breaking month in March by setting a historic high. For March, 286,061 CPO units were sold, beating the last record high set in March 2019 of 265,878 units.
  2. Sales of CPO vehicles increased 80% year over year in March and ended up 36% month over month compared to February.
  3. This year CPO sales are up 14% in Q1 versus Q1 2020, with 696,828 CPO units sold through March.

The certified pre-owned (CPO) market had a record-breaking month in March by setting a historic high. For March, 286,061 CPO units were sold, beating the last record high set in March 2019 of 265,878 units. Sales of CPO vehicles increased 80% year over year in March and ended up 36% month over month compared to February. 

This year CPO sales are up 14% in Q1 versus Q1 2020, with 696,828 CPO units sold through March. For the first three months of 2021, the CPO market is up more than 80,000 units above Q1 2020, a nearly 4% increase.

In March, Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet continued to be the biggest players in the CPO market, collectively representing 32% of all CPO sales. Those three automakers plus Ford and Nissan accounted for 46% of CPO sales this past month. Overall CPO sales in 2020 were led by the big volume players Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet, which represented 30% of total CPO sales.

According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used-vehicle sales were up 117% year over year in March. We estimate the March used SAAR to be 40.5 million, up from 18.5 million last March and up compared to February’s 38.0 million rate. The March used retail SAAR estimate is 22.2 million, up from 9.8 million last year and up month over month from February’s 20.8 million rate.