Honda doubles down on CPO sales strategy

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As part of the rebranding effort, the HondaTrue Certified program adds a series of complimentary benefits including roadside assistance, emergency fuel delivery and two complimentary oil changes. The warranty includes an additional 12 months or 12,000 miles of coverage beyond the original nonpowertrain factory warranty, which is unchanged at 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Honda’s new “plus” tier comes with an additional 24 months or 50,000 miles in coverage on top of the original factory warranty. The “plus” tier is only available on used vehicles with less than 12 months or 12,000 miles on the clock.

Acura’s Precision Certified program doubles the additional nonpowertrain warranty period from 12 to 24 months. It also provides up to 50,000 additional miles of coverage vs. the 12,000 additional miles under the old program. So a certified Acura is now covered for six years from the date of the original purchase or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Acura also added a free scheduled maintenance with oil change, tire rotation, fluids and filters.

Adding the second tier at Honda was intended to find a special home for loaners with low mileage, Rodriguez said. Those near-new CPOs give buyers another option should a new vehicle fall outside their budget. And they offer younger shoppers all the newest technology and safety features, a strong draw for that demographic.

“We want to encourage the dealers to keep the freshest cars in there,” said Rodriguez.

While CPO fees paid by dealerships bring in income for the brands, that gets quickly reinvested in support programs such as marketing and special financing, he said. That feeds into the virtuous cycle of supporting residual values. American Honda is known for no fleet sales and limited incentives to support residuals and profitability.

The revamped CPO programs, Rodriguez said, are “a tremendous positive and an opportunity for the dealers because keeping that residual value high is really key. And CPO provides a mechanism to support that.”

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