U.S. sales of certified preowned cars continued their upward momentum in September with a nearly 14% year-over-year bump to about 255,000 units.
Cox Automotive said some carmakers’ expanded CPO eligibility programs haven’t yet realized their full potential in sales improvements, so the numbers should keep rising.
It said CPO sales in the past three months were higher than at any point since July 2021 and have surpassed two million units so far this year, up about 9% year-over-year, outdoing the overall retail used-vehicle segment, whose sales it said are about flat.
Cox expects sales for the year to total about 2.6 million. That’s after it predicted in the new year that they would be down for the second year in a row due to fallen auto leasing.
“Some brands have looked stronger recently, and those could be the early signs of success. At the same time, improving new-vehicle inventory levels and higher sales incentives are keeping some buyers in the new market – not in CPO,” said Cox Senior Manager of Economic and Industry Insights Chris Frey.
Luxury CPOs are up 12% this year, nonluxury 8%. Asian brands lead the CPO sales pack, up about 14% so far this year, while the big Detroit three carmakers are up just 3%.
“Clearly, CPO sales show demand is there, partly due to the affordability challenges that persist in the new market,” Frey said. “The only factor holding back CPO is limited supply.”