“Certified” used cars have become an important program for car dealers whose customers demand quality, reliable transportation with the added assurance of corporate backing. However, General Motors (among others) has discovered that some dealerships have abused its GM Certified program, leading the automaker to crack down on these rule-breakers.
Larry Pryg, national manager of GM Certified used operations, told Automotive News that most of his dealerships follow the rules, but there have been a few that have been temporarily suspended from the programs as well. “It’s all about maintaining the programs’ integrity,” he said.
Pryg added GM Certified has monitored dealer performance for a number of years but there has been more scrutiny over the past 18 months. “For the first time, we said, ‘If you fail [GM audits] consecutively, we will remove you from the program.’ That’s a discussion we’ve had with dealers for over a year. The idea is to fix them, not get them out.”
GM Certified representatives visit participating dealerships one to four times a year, according to Pryg. Dealerships are rated on how well the program is executed, with those scoring well receiving fewer corporate visits; dealerships that have room to improve will have more visits. “This is our way of keeping our promise that the car is properly certified.”
GM Certified, which includes Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Pontiac, and Saturn brands, increased its unit sales 10 percent through August to 255,077.