Toyota Puts CPO Dealer Inventory On EBay

ebayToyota has launched a collaboration with eBay Motors that lets dealers with Toyota Certified Used Vehicle (TCUV) programs showcase their vehicle inventory on the eBay Motors Certified Pre-Owned Showroom at

The effort lets consumers find TCUV vehicles in classified listings at dealerships in a shopper's area. Toyota has branded information sites on its certified pre-owned program and also lets site visitors connect to dealer Web sites.

Toyota says it sold 253,855 certified pre-owned vehicles (CPOs) this year through November--an increase of 1.5% over the same period last year. Toyota's Lexus division also has begun promoting its CPOs online.

EBay launched a virtual CPO showroom last summer and inked a deal with Chrysler and Toyota.

Norm Olson, retail sales operations manager at Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota, explains that Toyota TCUV has a presence on over 300 Web sites like Autotrader,, and, and has "extensive [search engine optimization] words on Google and Yahoo. Most of our advertising and marketing is on the Internet; we have been almost completely out of print for quite a while--we found that for our product, interactive is really the way to go."



He says that Toyota estimates TCUV will have 1.2 billion impressions this year--including 135 million searches, and in the neighborhood of half a million leads to dealers.

Of the 34 auto brands that have CPO programs, Toyota is among the pioneers, launching its programs in the 1990s. Olson says that TCUV has been a silver lining for Toyota. "With everything that has happened this year, we are still going to have the best-ever month," he says, noting that Toyota will sell some 273,500 CPOs in December. He also says that the market is shifting away from compact cars that have been selling like matchbox toys for half a year. "We were selling Yarises, Corollas and Priuses like hotcakes, but what's very popular now are used Sequoias, Tundras, and Highlanders. There's resurgence," he says.

Joe Spina, senior director of re-marketing at, says CPO vehicle sales volume is close to what it was last year. "The percentage drop in sales this year is much less than for new vehicles," he says. "If you compare certified used to regular used vehicle sales, manufacturers with finance arms can support certified programs with offers like special APR financing."

Mark Guarino, senior analyst in charge of automotive series at Chicago-based consultancy Mintel, says the used-car market is generally more stable now than the new car market. "Where there's growth in the last six months is in used small cars," he says. He cites information from the National Automotive Dealers Association that of the 590 new-car dealerships that have closed this year, 17% have reopened as used car dealers.

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