Ann Arbor —When Jose Ortiz of Ypsilanti bought his 2010 Matrix at Dunning Toyota here in December, Toyota Motor Corp. became the first automaker to sell 4 million certified used vehicles, marking a major milestone in the program it pioneered back in 1996.
On Wednesday, Toyota executives honored Ortiz and refunded his purchase as they celebrated what has become an enormously important — and profitable — sales channel for the company.
“It’s almost a business in itself,” said Yoshimi Inaba, executive chairman of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. In fact, he told The Detroit News that if Toyota Certified Pre-Owned vehicles were a separate brand, it would have outsold 27 other nameplates in 2013, booking almost 370,000 sales in the United States last year.
That was more than either Mercedes or BMW sold new.
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