Solid Used Segment to Reach: Green Cars

by Jon LeSage, edi­tor, Used Car Mar­ket Reports

Look­ing for a prof­itable used vehi­cle mar­ket seg­ment to reach? How about green cars – hybrids, elec­tric vehi­cles, and fuel effi­cient vehi­cles?

Fran­chised and inde­pen­dent deal­ers are see­ing a lot of used inven­to­ry on the mar­ket today, and some of it, espe­cial­ly trucks, is see­ing strong pric­ing. What we’re see­ing though, such as in Manheim’s lat­est report, is that deal­ers are doing well by sell­ing lots of used vehi­cle the right way.

Prices might be down on small, fuel effi­cient cars and hybrids, but all things con­sid­ered, they’re not bad – and sell­ing a lot of them can be prof­itable.

There’s a cou­ple of inter­est­ing announce­ment this week that speak to the issue – one is that Nis­san has added its Leaf elec­tric car to its cer­ti­fied pre-owned vehi­cle list; and the oth­er is an online tool for used cars rat­ing fuel effi­cien­cy and emis­sions from the US Dept. of Ener­gy (DOE) and Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA).

Cer­ti­fied Leafs will get an extend­ed war­ran­ty of sev­en years or 100,000 miles on both the elec­tric sys­tem and pow­er­train.

To be con­sid­ered, the used Leaf must be less than five years old, have few­er than 60,000 miles, and have at least nine of 12 bars of bat­tery capac­i­ty remain­ing on the gauge. It also needs to have a clean Car­fax his­to­ry report, and pass an inspec­tion where 167 sep­a­rate items are checked. Two war­ranties on the bat­tery pack will remain in place – eight years or 100,000 miles, and five years or 60,000 miles, with a few per­for­mance indi­ca­tors being checked on each war­ran­ty. The new cer­ti­fied pro­gram adds to the pro­tec­tions.

For the DOE and EPA offer­ing, deal­ers and con­sumers can now place a used car label based on fuel econ­o­my and emis­sions per­for­mance. It’s a free online tool allow­ing for cre­ation of a con­sumer-friend­ly label that lists gas mileage and CO2 emis­sions lev­els of used vehi­cles sold in the US since 1984.

Oth­er indi­ca­tors that used green cars is a viable mar­ket seg­ment to reach include eBay’s Green Dri­ving (which they say gets a lot of traf­fic); NADA Used Car Guide’s Plug-in Elec­tric Vehi­cles: Mar­ket Analy­sis and Used Price Fore­cast; and ALG’s Alter­na­tive Pow­er­train Per­ceived Qual­i­ty Study.

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