ATLANTA – Views for used and Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles on AutoTrader.com continued to benefit trucks and SUVs, as these larger vehicles remained popular with car shoppers in December 2009.
While overall shopping activity for many used and CPO vehicles was down, this was driven by the reduced inventories, rather than a loss of interest, a fact that was reflected in the increased average asking prices of these trucks and SUVs. For example, while the full-size Chevrolet Suburban SUV saw views decrease 24 percent in December 2009 compared to December 2008, average asking prices for available vehicles increased almost 19 percent, from $27,951 in December 2008 to $33,185 this past month.
"Poor sales in 2008 due to high gas prices and the economy - which caused a corresponding pull back of manufacturing new cars - has reduced the number of used and CPO vehicles now available on the market, which in turn has reduced dealer inventories and the amount of shopping activity that we are currently seeing on such vehicles," said Perry. "As new car sales improve and these buyers trade in their now used cars, we should see also see a corresponding improvement in used-car inventories and shopping activity.
CPO inventories took a double hit as the credit crisis caused many manufacturers to pull back or eliminate leasing programs, an important avenue for late model CPO inventory. "Those CPO buyers who weren't scared away from buying by the challenging economy found that in many cases there just wasn't available inventory of CPO vehicles because these leasing programs had dried up," said Perry. "But as credit eases for both consumers and auto manufacturers, we'll see a return to normalcy in the CPO market. Certified vehicles remain an important component of manufacturers' and dealers' sales strategies going forward into the future."
The Ford F-150 captured the No. 1 spot on the top viewed used vehicles list in December 2009, followed by the BMW 3 Series at No. 2, the Chevy Silverado at No. 3 and the Ford Mustang at No. 4. All four models held these same positions in November of 2009 and in December of 2008.
In CPO searches, the BMW 3 Series captured the top spot again, with, in order, the Chevy Silverado, the Honda Accord, the Chevy Tahoe and the Ford F-150 rounding out the top five most viewed CPO vehicles on AutoTrader.com.