Toyota Australia dominates new vehicle sales in Australia, and now wants to do the same in the ‘genuine’ used vehicle market.
With the pricing of its entry models like the new Yaris climbing precipitously in return for more features, the company appears to be pivoting to offering quality used vehicles as the entry point to its brand – what it calls “a strategic shift in approach”.
Toyota Certified Pre-owned launched in 2012, and recently passed 100,000 sales in Australia. The company expects to sell more than 25,000 ‘certified’ used cars every year from now, in addition to the more than 200,000 new vehicles it sells each year.
Used cars sold under the aegis of this program – accessed via a centralised database that trawls through the dealer network – are billed as a cut above your typical used car.
They must be under 10 years old with fewer than 160,000km on the odometer to qualify, come with 12 months roadside assist, and can be purchased using Toyota’s captive finance.
Before sale each car undergoes a claimed 90-point inspection of components, interior and exterior body condition, keys, and service books, and is subject to a CarHistory financial and accident record check. It is then delivered in “showroom condition,” as the company claims.
Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, said this week the program’s cumulative sales had doubled in just two years, “due to an increasing number of consumers regarding the company’s certified brand as a smart alternative to a new vehicle”.
“Consumers are finding a Toyota Certified Pre-Owned vehicle is an affordable entry point to our brand – and often the first step in becoming a customer for life, with 15 per cent of owners purchasing a new car within five years,” he said.
“Toyota chooses only the best pre-owned cars for the program and subjects them to a comprehensive inspection and background check, which means buyers can be as sure of the car’s past as they are of its future.
“Our certified pre-owned cars are also genuinely affordable, with almost one-third of eligible vehicles priced under $20,000. Three-quarters of them are less than five years old – and 41 per cent are under three years old.”
Certified pre-owned programs of this nature are not uncommon.
Brands from Volkswagen, to Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche at the premium end, offer similar services, whereby good quality trade-ins, wholesaled cars, and ex-company fleet cars, are inspected and sold through dealers as ‘safe’ choices.