Chrysler is now selling certified pre-owned cars from their competitors—complete with a full inspection and Chrysler’s own warranty.
Baffled? We don’t know what sort of deal Chrysler’s lawyers struck in the 11th hour, but it must have worked. Most car companies have popular certified pre-owned programs for their own brands, that inspect and service their own vehicles complete with warranty. But Chrysler is the first manufacturer to apply the CPO ideal to used vehicles from other carmakers, which could either be ambitious or a gimmick—depends on whether the person you ask once owned a Dodge Caravan with an exploding transmission.
The program is known as Diversified Certified, which sounds like an unambitious rhyme from an early-90s hip-hop song, and will hopefully drive customers into languishing Fiat lots, barren from a lack of product and even fewer sales. It will start in Fiat “studios” first before moving onto Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brand dealerships in two months.
“Just because we didn’t build the vehicle, doesn’t mean we won’t back it with a Chrysler Group warranty,” said Eric Swanson, Chrysler’s Head of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. “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.”
The whole point, of course, is to entice customers into getting a great warranty on a pre-owned car—any car—and then convincing them to buy a new Chrysler product instead. “We have never seen so many conquest opportunities,” said Gary Brown, who owns two Chrysler dealerships on Long Island. “Diversified Certified will give our used car team a great opportunity to bolster and sell our pre-owned inventory. We are really excited about it.”
Will it work? It will be awkward if Chrysler is cuckolded by a wave of customers attracted by the idea, but driving off in a certified Ford with a warranty paid for by Chrysler is like a terrible example of automotive alimony.