CPO sales down over 40% in March, 9% for Q1

CARY, N.C. – 

In a report from Friday, J.D. Power Valuation Services indicated that franchised dealers saw close to a 40% week-over-over decline in retail used-vehicle sales the final full week of March. Meanwhile, Cox Automotive estimated that total used-vehicle sales for the month fell 18.4% from March 2019.

And similar to what has happened in the overall used-car market (and in new cars, for that matter), certified pre-owned sales had a rough March amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Cox Automotive data shared with Auto Remarketing, there was a 40.4% year-over-year decline in certified sales for March 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.

Results from automakers

Several automakers  also shared 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.

Story has been updated to include March and first-quarter CPO sales data from Cox Automotive.

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