Honda is laying claims to being the first mass-market automaker to offer used vehicles on its website.
The company has launched an enhanced sales portal to include non-certified used vehicles on HondaCertified.com as the latest step in the brand's effort to simplify the shopping and purchasing process for first-time buyers.
Rising new-vehicle transaction prices make used and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles an increasingly important entry point to vehicle ownership for both young and first-time buyers, according to the automaker.
The initiative builds on Honda's award-winning CPO vehicle program, HondaTrue Certified, already a gateway for attracting new customers to the Honda brand.
HondaCertified.com now enables customers to search dealer inventories of Honda used vehicles, including up to 10 previous model years, in addition to the existing CPO vehicle inventory of late model cars. As with CPO vehicles, used Honda vehicles offered on HondaCertified.com will have recalls addressed by Honda dealer service experts prior to sale.
With fewer new vehicle incentives being offered, consumers are shifting back into the used vehicle market, a trend that actually began prior to the pandemic, says Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive financial solutions.
"Some of it can be attributed to new vehicle inventory shortages, though there have been similar instances on the used vehicle side," Zabritski tells Marketing Daily. "The other likely reason behind the shift is affordability."
According to Experian’s third quarter 2020 State of the Automotive Finance Market, the average new vehicle loan amount was $34,635, while the average used vehicle loan amount was $21,438 -- a more than $13,000 difference.
Marketing plans for the initiative are still being formulated, according to a spokesperson for the automaker. RPA works on HondaTrue Certified advertising and is the lead agency for new vehicle marketing.
First vehicle purchase for many buyers will come from the used-car market, says Dan Rodriguez, manager of auto remarketing at American Honda.
“Our upgraded website makes this process more simple and enjoyable,” Rodriguez says in a release.
Honda will add features to this used-vehicle initiative in the months ahead, aligned with the brand's Shop Simple by Honda online buying tool, enabling customers to complete most of the purchase process of Honda pre-owned vehicles in a digital fashion.