One of the trends in used cars over the last couple of decades has been the advent of “certified” used car programs. They’re rather common in the industry, but manufacturers have normally only certified and warranted their own cars.
Take Toyota’s Certified Used Car program, for example. Under it, it’s possible to buy a Toyota-certified used Toyota, with additional warranties tacked onto the car in addition to any remaining manufacturer’s warranty. But only Toyotas are available. Used cars on Toyota dealer’s lots built by Honda or General Motors aren’t eligible.
Chrysler is the first to warrant and certify used cars built by other auto manufacturers with the launch of Diversified Certified. Now, Chrysler Group dealers will be able to certify and sell competitive-make, pre-owned vehicles backed with a Chrysler Group warranty.
The 140 FIAT studios now open in the United States are the first to launch the Diversified Certified program. Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck dealers will join the program in about 60 days.
“Today is a new chapter for certified pre-owned vehicles,” said Eric Swanson, Head of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles at Chrysler Group LLC. “Just because we didn’t build the vehicle, doesn’t mean we won’t back it with a Chrysler Group warranty. Of course, we always want our customers to visit our dealers and purchase a new or certified pre-owned Chrysler Group model, but now we have given them another option to consider.”
For Chrysler dealers, who’ve been seeing dramatic increases in the number of new Chrysler products sold, with a 26 percent increase in sales during 2011 and a 42 percent rise through 2012, the any-manufacturer used car certification program is being welcomed as another tool to bring buyers into showrooms.
“Diversified Certified will give our used car team a great opportunity to bolster and sell our pre-owned inventory,” said dealer Gary Brown, of Brown’s FIAT and Brown’s Jeep Chrysler Dodge, both in Patchogue, N.Y. “We are really excited about it.”
Vehicles eligible for the Diversified Certified program will have less than 48,000 miles on the odometer and will be a 2008 model or newer. The cars will be subjected to a thorough certification process and come with a 5-Year/60,000-Mile Maximum Care (full mechanical) Warranty from original in-service date, as well as Certified Pre-Owned program benefits such as towing, roadside assistance and more.