NEW YORK – Sales of certified pre-owned BMWs climbed 24% during the first two months of 2009, BMW of North America LLC says.

Racking up 19,000 used-car sales in January and February, BMW dealers appear headed to break last year’s record total of 104,000 units.

“Our CPO program has helped to broaden BMW’s customer base in the U.S. considerably,” says Peter Miles, BMWNA executive vice president. CPO sales provide a significant source of revenue and generate after sales and warranty business, he adds.

“It is an important in tool attracting a new generation of BMW buyers.”

A quarter of BMW’s 350,000 retail sales last year were used vehicles. CPO sales jumped 16.5% in 2008 compared with the previous year.

Miles says the used-car program is helping BMW dealers “weather the current economic situation.”

BMW isn’t alone in experiencing an uptick in CPO sales. Audi of America Inc. says its used-vehicle deliveries jumped 18% last year to 32,000 units and are running 28% ahead of plan so far in 2009.