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Japan's Automakers Promoting Used-Vehicle Sales Systems


Tokyo Marc 9, 2009; The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that amid a sales slump of new vehicles, an increasing number of domestic carmakers are introducing or expanding their used-car sales systems, by overhauling and improving such vehicles and guaranteeing their quality.

By enhancing the image of secondhand cars, manufacturers hope to increase the profitability of selling them and thereby offset the slowdown in sales of new vehicles.

Though used cars that are certified or approved by automakers are more expensive than those offered by ordinary used-car dealers, buyers generally receive better after-sales services, such as guaranteed repairs.

Late last month, Nissan Motor Co. introduced a system to certify used models of its popular GT-R sports car.

Under this system, the automaker purchases and performs maintenance on used GT-Rs before selling them through affiliated car dealers.

People tend to shy away from buying used sports cars over fears they might end up purchasing a vehicle that has been involved in an accident or undergone a major conversion. But Nissan will attempt to assuage such fears by offering a guarantee under which problems will be addressed by official dealers.

Among foreign automakers, Mercedes-Benz Japan Co. and Audi Japan KK have decided to expand their existing sales systems for used cars. Mercedes-Benz will extend its free-repair guarantee period from the current one year to two years.