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US Certified Pre-Owned Cars market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Certified Pre-Owned Cars market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This Report examines the US market for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles.

Mintel defines CPO vehicles as:

  • Pre-owned vehicles certified by either the manufacturer or a dealership to meet a specified standard of condition
  • Standards of conditions vary between manufacturers and dealerships but often include:
  • Mileage limits
  • Age limits
  • Passing grade on a multipoint inspection
  • Factory-based warranties
  • Franchised dealerships are defined as a new-car dealership
  • that has a franchise agreement with a major automotive manufacturer

This Report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Certified Pre-Owned Cars – US, August 2015.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Automotive sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

CPO (certified pre-owned) vehicles are used vehicles that have been certified by an auto manufacturer or dealership to meet specific quality criteria. Certification gives car shoppers assurances as to the quality of the used vehicle that was purchased and the vehicles typically come at a higher price point than a standard used car. Market factors signal an increase in CPO inventory in the near future, so brands and dealerships will need to increase marketing to off-load the additional inventory. Buddy Lo
Automotive Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Consumer education on EVs sorely lacking
              • More mature mild hybrid segment sales slowing
                • The opportunities
                  • AEV owners incredibly satisfied
                    • Most would consider an alternative energy vehicle
                      • Tesla, EV segment sales incredibly strong
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • AEVs post strongest growth in five years
                            • Battery electric vehicle sales jump 125%
                              • Tesla sales propel EV market share from 17% to 34% of AEV sales
                                • AEV market share decouples from gas prices
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • AEVs forecasted for continued growth as consumer awareness increases
                                    • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2013-23
                                    • Figure 2: Total US volume sales and forecast of hybrid and electric cars, 2013-23
                                • Market Breakdown

                                  • AEV share growing, yet just fraction of total market
                                    • Figure 3: Percentage of new vehicle sales, by alternative energy vehicles, 2009-18
                                  • Battery electric vehicle sales jump an estimated 125%
                                    • Figure 4: Total US volume sales of hybrid and electric cars, by segment, 2013-18
                                  • EV segment jumps to 34% of AEV sales
                                    • Figure 5: Total market share of AEV segments, 2016 and 2018
                                • Market Perspective

                                  • SUVs and crossovers in high demand
                                    • Figure 6: SUV and crossover market share of new vehicle sales, 2018
                                • Market Factors

                                  • AEV market share decouples from gas prices
                                    • Figure 7: Alternative energy vehicle market share and average cost per gallon of gas, 2009-18
                                  • Strong economic indicators bode well for AEV market
                                    • Figure 8: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-18
                                  • New pause in interest rates could make loans more affordable
                                    • Government incentives becoming limited for most popular vehicles
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Tesla meets high expectations with 375% growth
                                        • Toyota tops mild hybrid segment
                                          • Plug-in hybrid segment small but competitive
                                          • Company and Brand Sales of AEVs

                                            • Tesla powers segment with 375% growth
                                              • Figure 9: Battery electric units sold, by manufacturer, 2018
                                            • Tesla models claim top 3 EVs sold
                                              • Figure 10: Battery electric units sold, by model, 2018
                                            • Toyota tops mild hybrid segment
                                              • Figure 11: Mild hybrid units sold, by manufacturer, 2018
                                            • Ford Fusion Hybrid is Ford’s lone impactful hybrid
                                              • Figure 12: Mild hybrid units sold, by model, 2018
                                            • Plug-in hybrid segment small but competitive
                                              • Figure 13: Plug-in hybrid units sold, by manufacturer, 2018
                                            • Prius plug-in leads plug-in hybrid sales
                                              • Figure 14: Plug-in hybrid units sold, by model, 2018
                                          • What’s Working?

                                            • Local initiatives motivate buyers
                                            • What’s Struggling?

                                              • Toyota struggles with mild hybrid segment
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • EV SUV/crossovers are coming
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Hybrid and electric vehicles remain a niche market
                                                    • AEV owners incredibly satisfied
                                                      • Economic and environmental concerns motivate buyers
                                                        • Negative perceptions on AEV reliability, affordability, performance, and safety
                                                          • EVs seen as future of cars, yet most buyers unsure about costs
                                                          • Purchase Intent

                                                            • Purchase intent stagnant following sales peak
                                                              • Figure 15: Purchase intent, November 2018
                                                              • Figure 16: Purchase intent, July 2016-November 2018
                                                            • Major life events spur auto purchases
                                                              • Figure 17: Purchase intent, by major life events, November 2018
                                                          • Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Ownership

                                                            • Hybrid and electric vehicles remain an extremely niche market
                                                              • Figure 18: Hybrid and EV ownership, November 2018
                                                            • AEVs owned mainly by affluent
                                                              • Figure 19: Hybrid and EV ownership, by household income, November 2018
                                                            • Higher income Millennials account for most AEV owners
                                                              • Figure 20: Hybrid and EV ownership, by age and household income, November 2018
                                                          • Alternative Energy Vehicle Consideration

                                                            • More than two thirds would consider an alternative energy vehicle
                                                              • Figure 21: AEV consideration, November 2018
                                                            • Ownership increases consideration to nearly 90%
                                                              • Figure 22: AEV consideration, by current AEV owners, November 2018
                                                          • AEVs Considered

                                                            • Mild hybrids lead consideration
                                                              • Figure 23: AEVs considered, by type, November 2018
                                                            • Current owners more likely to consider EVs
                                                              • Figure 24: AEVs considered, by current AEV owner type, November 2018
                                                            • Shoppers considering multiple types of AEVs for next purchase
                                                              • Figure 25: AEVs considered, by single consideration, November 2018
                                                          • Reasons for Consideration

                                                            • Motivations for buying an AEV are both economic and environmental
                                                              • Figure 26: Reasons for consideration, November 2018
                                                            • Younger shoppers more likely to prefer styling and driving experience of AEVs
                                                              • Figure 27: Reasons for consideration, by age, November 2018
                                                            • Government incentives spur consideration among higher HH incomes
                                                              • Figure 28: Reasons for consideration, by government financial incentives and household income, November 2018
                                                          • Perceptions of AEVs

                                                            • AEVs fail short on reliability, affordability, performance, and safety
                                                              • Figure 29: Perceptions of AEVs, November 2018
                                                            • EVs now considered “luxurious” by consumers
                                                              • Figure 30: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Car type attributes, November 2018
                                                          • Attitudes toward Electric Vehicles

                                                            • Exposure and education on EVs lacking for most US consumers
                                                              • Figure 31: Attitude toward electric vehicles, November 2018
                                                            • EVs seen as the future
                                                              • Figure 32: Attitudes toward electric vehicles, November 2018
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Sales data
                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                    • Direct marketing creative
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                          • Methodology
                                                                            • Figure 33: Perceptions of hybrid, electric, and regular vehicles, November 2018