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CPO sales show resilience in final weeks of 2023

Monthly CPO sales improved over last year in November while falling only 0.6% from October, compared to 12.8% in the used vehicle market

Sales of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles increased in November on a year-over-year basis but fell just short of October’s pace as the retail automotive sector contends with modest end-of-year slowdowns in business.

According to Cox Automotive, CPO sales totaled 205,863, representing an increase of 3.8% from last year and a decline of 0.6% from the previous month. To an extent, these shifts reflect trends in the broader used-vehicle market, where dealers saw sales drop 12.8% after October but still entered December 7.4% ahead of their November 2022 volumes.

However, given that the month-over-month decline was less than a full percent, the CPO segment, despite its small size, appears to be more insulated from the conditions causing slowdowns in other parts of the car market.

Chris Frey, senior manager of economic and industry insights at Cox Automotive, acknowledged that “Some wind has come out of the sails” in the fourth quarter after a relatively strong third quarter. However, Frey emphasized that CPO sales have never dipped beneath the 200,000 unit mark in 2023 and that the segment’s monthly average remains nearly 13,000 units ahead of 2022’s numbers.

With the year almost at an end, the last eleven months of CPO sales combined total 2.4 million units, an increase of 7.6% from last year’s January-November period.

Similar to other used vehicle buyers, CPO customers remain an important market for dealers to serve despite the general malaise auto sales have experienced toward the end of 2023. Certain sub-sections of the CPO segment have demonstrated even more resilience to this year’s frequent demand shifts than others, such as the Luxury sector, which retains an 11% lead over last year’s sales compared to non-luxury’s 6.5%.

Given the market’s demonstration of strength in 2023, Cox Automotive expects annual CPO sales to reach 2.6 million before the New Year, which is now less than two weeks away.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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