ATLANTA — In preparation of the influx of off-lease vehicles returning to the market, BMW Financial Services has made its service accessible to independent and non-BMW franchise dealers, according to the company.

The website — which is powered by RMS Automotive’s web-based vehicle portfolio management solution — was previously open only to BMW franchise dealers. Now, any buyer with a valid AuctionACCESS account has 24/7 online access to BMW Group’s national inventory of off lease vehicles.

" was created out of the necessity for our franchise partners to gain exclusive access to our inventory before it was offered to the wholesale buying community," said Nina Englert, vice president of sales and marketing for BMW Financial Services. "But, given the changing dynamics facing the grounding dealer and with more off-lease inventory entering the market, we needed to take our upstream remarketing program to the next level."

The website offers intuitive features that are meant to simplify the user experience, the company stated. Through the site, dealers can set up saved searches and alerts that will automatically alert them when specific inventory becomes available. Dealers can also search packages and options based on original build information from the plant. Given that the website is an open platform, dealers no longer have to reserve time to attend simulcast online auctions at set times or attend on-site live auctions saving them both time and money, according to the company.

"Dealers can see our off-lease inventory across multiple auction locations, making it an efficient way to source our vehicles," Englert said. "And as the shift from traditional auction to online sales channels continues to grow, this will become an increasingly important value-add to dealers."

Since its launch in June of last year, more than 450 BMW and MINI franchise dealers — along with 50 VIP independent dealers and wholesale buyers — have sourced, bid on and purchased vehicles through BMWGroupDirect, according to the company.

"BMW Group Financial Services and Cox Automotive enjoy a strong partnership and are committed to finding innovative solutions that drive more informed decision-making and further growth," said Nick Peluso, RMS president. "With anticipated growth over the next several years in off-lease volumes, this solution will help BMW Group Financial Services generate greater business efficiencies that will fuel better remarketing decisions."  

However, the company stated that the program will continue to offer franchise dealers exclusive access to BMW Group company vehicles via closed sales.