Motor Trend is lending its name and brand to a certified used car program at Planet Honda in Union, New Jersey. The program is actually "powered by" EasyCare, a company that provides a suite of contract services like maintenance and repair warranties and GAP insurance to new owners. (EasyCare was a Motor Trend "Best Buy" last year.) Formerly called APCO, EasyCare was until last year a Ford subsidiary. As a private company, it still oversees the certified used car programs for Land Rover, Volvo, Mazda and Jaguar, and works with 3,000 dealerships in the U.S.

Planet Honda – a three-time Honda Excellence Award winner – has been named a Motor Trend Certified Advantage Dealership. That means it has a vehicle certification program approved by MT and provides "a noticeably better buying and ownership experience." Now, not only does Planet Honda guarantee the quality of the vehicle, but buyers will also get other EasyCare services like paintless dent removal and 24/7 concierge service with the car.

There are three MT Certified Advantage dealerships as of now, and probably more on the way. Sounds like a fine idea; after all, if you have the brand equity, no reason not to cash in on use it. If this does well for them, we just hope they don't pull a Ferrari and keep squeezing the licensing teat until every possible appliance has been sprayed with the Motor Trend logo. You can read the press release on the program after the jump.


PRESS RELEASE

Top Executives From Motor Trend(R), EasyCare, NJCAR and Planet Honda of Union to Announce Details of Motor Trend Certified Advantage Program at Planet Honda on Thursday, January 15, From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

UNION, N.J., Jan. 15 -- Planet Honda of Union has been selected as a Motor Trend(R) Certified Advantage dealership - one of the first three in the United States designated to participate in a new pre-owned vehicle certification program created for Motor Trend and powered by EasyCare. By operating as a Motor Trend Certified Advantage dealership, Planet Honda aims to provide consumers with the added assurance that their pre-owned vehicle purchases meet the strict standards of the Motor Trend program, and provide other enhanced ownership benefits typically associated with luxury vehicle purchases.

The new program not only guarantees the quality of the used vehicle, but it also gives consumers other advantages as owners - from paintless dent removal coverage to 24/7 concierge service. Planet Honda also offers its customers financial incentives for trade-ins, a 72-hour exchange policy on all vehicle purchases, a 30-day lemon-free pledge, a Best Value guarantee and service loyalty rewards.

"The Motor Trend Certified Advantage takes the customer-buying and service experience to exceptional levels," says Eddie Amorin, general sales manager of Planet Honda. "It provides a third-party assurance through the respected Motor Trend brand and expands our footprint as a dealership by offering consumers a certification program applicable to all manufacturer brands in the used vehicle market."

Larry Dorfman, chief executive officer of EasyCare, says Planet Honda of Union was selected as a Motor Trend Certified Advantage Dealership because of its superior record of customer service and satisfaction. Planet Honda has been the recipient of Honda's Excellence Award for three years in a row. "Now certified vehicle customers can have a pleasant buying experience matched by a superior ownership experience supported by the Motor Trend Certified Advantage/ EasyCare brands in partnership with Planet Honda," says Dorfman.

MOTOR TREND CERTIFIED ADVANTAGE participation will be made available to a limited number of dealers across the country who will be thoroughly vetted and trained by EasyCare to deliver a noticeably better buying and ownership experience in accordance with the requirements of the program. The first three dealers include Wade Ford in Atlanta, GA; Tom Gill Chevrolet in Florence, KY; and Planet Honda of Union, NJ.

MOTOR TREND(R) (www.motortrend.com) is a publication of Source Interlink Media, LLC, and subsidiary of media and marketing services company Source Interlink Companies, Inc.

About Planet Honda

Planet Honda (www.planethondanj.com) is an employee-owned automotive retail and service company based in Union, NJ (at 2285 Route 22 West). A leading Honda dealership, Planet Honda is dedicated to delivering innovative vehicle-buying experiences backed by a commitment to quality and excellence in vehicle selection, performance, customer service, competitive pricing and through added value programs that enhance the vehicle ownership experience.