A Look at Costco's Car Selling Program and Soaring Sales

The Costco Auto Program sells nearly 500,000 cars in one year with steady growth

Costco, the store best known for selling oversized quantities from toilet paper to mayonnaise has forged its own unique path in the car business with special deals and steadily rising sales.

In fact, ever since the days of Price Club, the big box store has been promising deals on new cars.

"It's a very straightforward," said Rick Borg, describing a simple, haggle-free process.

Borg is the Executive Vice President of the Costco Auto Program. For 28 years the program has connected car shoppers with local dealerships.

"The dealership sets the price that we discuss, making sure we have a great value for Costco members they couldn't get normally without going through our program," said Borg.

The program has seen steady growth over the last five years. The company said it sold approximately 300,000 vehicles in 2012.  Last year, in 2016, its sales were up to 490,000 vehicles.

That adds up to about 1,000 vehicles sold at every Costco store every year, said Borg. The most popular vehicles are compact and mid-sized SUV's and pick-up trucks. Besides cars, the program also includes scooters, ATV's, Jet Skis and even snowmobiles.

But the program does have its limits.

"We don't have any Ferrari or Lamborghini dealerships," said Borg. "But we've got everything from the Big Three in Detroit, all the way to Lexis, BMW and Mercedes and Audi."

The Costco Auto Program does not sell directly at the store but through a website or phone number. Brochures are often displayed alongside a car parked in front of the store. 

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