Mark Christopher Auto Center in Ontario is the No. 1 volume General Motors shop in California. So when they say that CPO Cadillacs are among their most popular vehicles of late, it's big news.
The dealership, family-owned and -operated since 1972, is selling 22 to 25 CPO Caddies every month, in large part because of the price advantage offered by certified pre-owned rides.
"A $75,000 car — you could buy it for $45,000 [as a CPO] two years later, saving 40% to 45%. It's a lot of money," general manager Mike Cagey said. "You could buy an '08 Cadillac Escalade right now for the low $40,000s or even, with a little higher mileage, for $39,900 … that was originally a $75,000 car!"
No certified pre-owned Cadillac has more than 50,000 miles or is older than five model years. Each has passed a comprehensive 117-point inspection and reconditioning process by factory-trained technicians.
The best-selling Cadillac CPOs at Mark Christopher are the sporty CTS and the extravagant Escalade, which sell in roughly equal numbers, Cagey said. "The Escalade body style hasn't changed since '08 and it looks like you're driving a brand-new Escalade — for $30,000 less than the guy that's buying a brand-new one."
But it's not just good looks that have certified Cadillacs rolling off the Mark Christopher lot. They're all backed by a comprehensive six-year/100,000-mile warranty (from the date of original purchase), with no deductible. The warranty is fully transferable and includes 24-hour roadside assistance.
And these aren't your granddaddy's Caddies. Both the styling and build-quality of Cadillacs have been dramatically improved in recent years, a fact reflected in the rapidly changing demographics of the brand's drivers.
"I'm getting a much younger audience for Cadillacs than we've ever been used to over the last couple or three years," Cagey said. "Especially with the new two-door CTS and the success of the CTS and [high-performance] CTS-V. It's got a lot of people turning to Cadillac; looking at Cadillac differently.
"I think it's the models and the quality.... We're certainly putting out a car that's head and shoulders over what it was five years ago.... The quality of the car really has made the difference."