Challenging month for CPO car sales in Canada

CARY, N.C. – 

Much like the U.S. set, the Canadian certified pre-owned vehicle market appeared to have struggled in March, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a rundown of how a few automakers fared, based on results shared with Auto Remarketing Canada:

Toyota had 2,075 certified sales in March, down from 3,259 a year ago. Through the first quarter, CPO sales are 7,085 units, down from 8,028 in Q1 2019.

Lexus moved 276 CPO units in March, versus 450 last March. Quarterly CPO sales fell from 1,152 to 930.

At Hyundai, CPO sales were down 6% year-over-year with 780 vehicles sold.

But certified sales for Hyundai are still up 29% year-to-date.

Subaru sold 249 certified vehicles in March, compared to 340 a year ago. Year-to-date sales remain ahead of 2019 figures (857 vs. 843).

Nissan’s 804 CPO sales in March were down from 1,334 last year. Though three months, sales have reached 3,022 units, down from 3,392 in Q1 2019.

Infiniti had 119 certified sales in March, versus 174 last March. Year-to-date sales of 410 are down from 430 through three months of 2019.

At Mercedes-Benz, CPO sales for the quarter fell 14.2% year-over-year, coming in at 2,625. But the company pointed out in a news release that CPO penetration of overall pre-owned climbed 7.3%.

Q1 2020 brought mixed results for the Pre-Owned division. Overall pre-owned volume decreased (3,019 pre-owned units retailed, -21.4% compared to Q1 2019), as did Certified Pre-Owned sales (2,625 CPO retailed, -14.2% compared to Q1 2019). However, the Certified Pre-Owned penetration rate did increase (+7.3% compared to Q1 2019).

US sales down, too

According to Cox Automotive data shared with Auto Remarketing, there was a 40.4% year-over-year decline in certified sales for March in the United States, and a 33.4% month-over-month drop. The first quarter ended up 9.5% softer than the same period of 2019, the company said.

All this after a promising start to the year. 

The first month of 2020 was the strongest January for the certified pre-owned market in a decade.

February then beat those sales by 10%.

In a report from March, Cox Automotive, citing Motor Intelligence, said there was 238,229 CPO sales in February.

That beat year-ago figures by 13% and put the year-to-date sales figure at 454,188 through two months, Cox Automotive said.

Consider this: in 2018 and 2019, each a record year, respective certified sales through two months were:

  • 2018: 415,140 units
  • 2019: 411,160 units

As Cox Automotive put it in the analysis from last month, 2020 was already 40,000 sales ahead of both 2018 and 2019.

But then, of course, the impact of COVID-19 hit and Q1 certified sales ended up more than 9% softer than the previous year’s.

Several automakers also shared U.S. CPO results in their latest sales reporting.

Porsche increased first-quarter CPO sales by 1.08% year-over-year, moving 5,827 certified vehicles.

Over at Mazda North American Operations, quarterly CPO sales were down 2.5% at 13,510 units. March was off 38.9%, with 3,392 certified sales.

Next up, BMW’s quarterly CPO sales were up 0.2% at 27,542. Its MINI brand CPO sales were down 18.1%.

At Volvo, dealers moved 1,543 certified vehicles in March and 5,948 for the quarter.

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