WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — BMW Group Financial Services recently announced that up2drive.com has been selected by Kelley Blue Book as its exclusive online lender for the kbb.com Web site.

An automotive financing Web site that features convenient loan services, up2drive.com is designed to empower consumers through every step of the car buying, refinancing and selling process, officials indicated.

Launched in the fall of 2007, up2drive.com is a direct-to-consumer lending business unit of BMW Group Financial Services that is backed by the same award-winning customer service that provides automotive loans to BMW Group customers in the U.S.

Qualifying potential buyers researching the purchase and financing of a vehicle on kbb.com can access a direct link to up2drive.com, where they easily can apply and be approved for a loan.

Once approved, buyers can use up2drive.com's unique loan process, the drive check, to negotiate with private sellers or auto dealers as if they have cash on hand, according to the company.

"Together with kbb.com, we can now provide a new group of automotive shoppers with a convenient way to research financing options with up2drive.com," said Fred Isele, president of up2drive.com.

Damon Bennett, director of business development for Kelley Blue Book, added, "Working together with up2drive.com, we can now provide our millions of vehicle shoppers with a simple and easy way to obtain new- and used-vehicle financing whether buying from a dealership or a private party.

"We strive to work with companies that allow vehicle shoppers to make informed decisions and connect them to their next vehicle and up2drive.com allows us to achieve that goal," he continued.

BMW Group Financial Services offers a wide range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and banking products tailored to meet the needs of BMW customers.

With approximately $30 billion in serviced assets and 700,000 automotive lending customers, BMW Group Financial Services finances about half of the BMWs sold or leased in the United States. BMW Group Financial Services employs approximately 800 people, including consultants and temporary workers, most of whom are located in the Hilliard, Ohio, Customer Service Center.

In 2001, the Mini Financial Services division was established to provide support for the brand's dealer and customer networks by offering various financing and leasing options. Alphera Financial Services was established in 2006 to provide financial services to dealers who are part of the BMW and MINI networks, as well as non-BMW affiliated dealers.