KAR Auction Services chairman and chief executive officer Jim Hallett calls its 2011 acquisition of upstream remarketing platform OPENLANE a significant milestone for KAR “that ignited the digital transformation for our company and really, for the entire industry.”
“Throughout the years, OPENLANE has continuously reset the bar for upstream remarketing through invention, innovation and signature entrepreneurial spirit,” Hallett said in a news release.
OPENLANE is now celebrating a milestone of its own: its 20-year anniversary. KAR says that in celebration of OPENLANE’s 20 years, the platform will unveil various new enhancements, releases and promotions for the duration of this year. KAR says that coming soon, the platform’s self-inspection capabilities will benefit customers beyond traditional remarketing by connecting them better with dealers and retail customers throughout the lease lifecycle.
OPENLANE, which provides data analytics and technology offerings for more than 40 upstream marketplaces supporting 80% of North America’s private label brands, has facilitated the sale of more than one million vehicles on behalf of its customers in the last year.
The platform has come a long way since it was founded as Autodaq in 1999 in San Francisco. After its founding, the company grew through several strategic acquisitions and rebranded to OPENLANE in 2008. KAR president Peter Kelly was a co-founder of OPENLANE, which operates out of three technology and innovation hubs in Mesa, Ariz.; Toronto, Ontario; and Carmel, Ind.
KAR now describes OPENLANE as “the world’s largest, most trusted and most utilized upstream remarketing platform for OEM, captive finance, financial institution and fleet customers.”
KAR has invested in OPENLANE over the past two years to accelerate the deployment of new enhancements and capabilities. It has completely re-engineered the platform and added what it describes as a more personalized, responsive user experience, stating that its all-in-one digital, mobile and virtual marketplace “is more intuitive and easier to use.”
The new vehicle “smart” search functionality streamlines dealer buying, according to KAR. The DRIVIN-powered recommendations engine matches supply and demand, which the company says helps customers make better informed decisions more quickly.
“By combining first-rate technology from partners like Salesforce and Red Hat with the specialized expertise of our in-house team, OPENLANE customers get the best of all worlds,” KAR’s chief strategy officer and president of digital, data and mobility services Don Gottwald said.
Other recent innovations: The company last year announced a “reimagined” version of the upstream vehicle auction platform designed to help OPENLANE’s 40- OEM and financial institution customers more efficiently sell cars upstream.
The upgrades include data science capabilities built by KAR’s DRIVIN business unit and artificial intelligence via TradeRev, which is also a part of KAR.
KAR acquired DRIVIN in 2017 and also completed the acquisition of TradeRev in 2017.
Through analysis of millions of vehicles and thousands of dealers each day, DRIVIN provides predictive pricing recommendations to customers. Its algorithms are designed to curate lists of ideal buyers for upstream sellers based on demand.
TradeRev’s AI platform, known as “H,” launched last year. The company said H allows OPENLANE customers to generate condition report images “in just seconds.”
“Our 20th anniversary is a big year, as customers will get to experience positive returns on OPENLANE’s investments and aggressive product pipeline,” Gottwald said. “From the new responsive design to DRIVIN intelligence to integrated self-inspection tools, we’re upholding OPENLANE’s tradition of delivering customer-centric solutions at the leading edge of remarketing.”