In 2019, as OPENLANE was celebrating its 20th anniversary, Jim Hallett — who at the time was CEO of then-KAR Auction Services — looked back on the company’s 2011 acquisition of OPENLANE as an “inflection point” for KAR that “changed our company overnight.”

“Over the years, of all the acquisitions we did, I would look at OPENLANE as being one of the most transformative acquisitions we made in the history of our company,” Hallett said in a January 2019 phone interview. “And we went from being a laggard to a leader with the acquisition of OPENLANE.

 “And it didn’t change our company only because we sold more cars. It changed our company because of ...