Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Toyota Certified Used Cars

Maybe I just do not understand the message here. I have bought Toyota used cars in the past, and I have bought Mazda, Chevy, Dodge, Ford, and Toyota again. I currently own a Toyota Camery and my most recent purchase, a Toyota Sienna Mini-van. When I bought the van, I was trying to decide between the Dodge Caravan and the Sienna. And I of course mentioned this to the Toyota salesman. He turns to me and says “But our used cars are certified.” I look back at him like “So?”

He says that means the car had a 160 point inspection! I said that means nothing to me. It may mean something to you but it has no sway with me. To me all “certified” means is that Toyota checked out the car to make sure they are not selling me a lemon. It GOES WITHOUT SAYING that they should check out their used cars before putting them on the lot for me to buy. WITHOUT SAYING. Yet this salesman is in my face going, “It’s certified! It’s certified.” Well duh! It better be certified. Every major car dealer in America better “certify” their used cars unless they want a reputation for selling junk to people. I am willing to bet Toyota has been “certifying” their used cars for years in some form or fashion. It’s just that some slick marketing person said “Hey lets make that a BIG selling point for our used cars.” Now, all their sales force and their ad campaigns and their signs shout “Our used cars are certified!” Big fat hairy deal! I just don’t get it.

It’s like they are saying that before certification existed, they just took their used cars in and washed them off and set them on the lot without ever opening the hood. They are implying that all the other car dealers do just that cause they don’t say the word “Certified.” What a crock. If anything this sheer marketing ploy turns me off and makes me want to look elsewhere.

Maybe certified means more than just making sure the car runs good. I went to the certified warranty page where they list benefits of the warranty. Mazda has just as good a warranty as they do if not better. Toyota compares it against buying from a private seller. This means that when you buy a used car from your neighbor, Joe Blow, you are not going to get a warranty. Well no kidding Toyota.

Come on Toyota come up with a better strategy than that. How about “Our used cars smell nice!”


Jetting Through Life said...

Bill-- I used to work in the auto industry! I feel your pain!! The salesmen are trained to point out the inspection, but what they don't say is that they have to pass for them to have the autos on their lots by law!! I LOVE BEING RIGHT!!!

-Bill said...

See! That makes sense to me! Good stuff.