Certified pre-owned (CPO) sales reached 228,118 units in September, reflecting a sales level of a 2% month-over-month increase and a 1% year-over-year increase when CPO sales continued their strong performance in September 2020 as part of the used-vehicle market recovery, according to an Oct. 11 news release.
With 2,163,380 units sold through September, year-to-date CPO sales are up 11% compared to the same period last year and up 3% compared to September 2019. After rounding out the third quarter, reaching the revised Cox Automotive CPO sales forecast of 2.7 million units – and possibly matching the 2.8 million record-setting 2019 level – remains possible.
Speaking about CPO on the recent Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index call, Kevin Chartier, vice president at Manheim Consulting, noted: “In today’s market, everything is selling so quickly and at such high prices, that I think that in many cases the dealers are selling cars before they get a chance to pull them into their shops to spend the time to recondition them up to full CPO standards. So, this is why we haven’t seen massive growth in CPO. But with that said, CPO has been pretty good and continues to be right up there with the historic highs that we have seen over the past few years. And as we see new-vehicle inventories drop, CPO presents a great opportunity for the dealers to have something to sell to people coming in looking for a new car.”
Total used-vehicle sales were down 13% year over year in September, according to Cox Automotive estimates. We estimate the September used SAAR to be 36 million, down from 40.9 million last September and down compared to August’s 36.5 million SAAR. The September used retail SAAR estimate is 19.5 million, down from 21.7 million last year and flat month over month.