Carwow has appointed legal representatives in a bid to lift a BMW UK ban on its franchised dealers use of the online market place’s services.
Chief executive James Hind has told AM that the “specialists in competition law” were called in as a last resort after talks with the manufacturer fell down, leaving its retailers without the option of using the online platform.
Part of the action against the German brand has already seen it reported to the Competition and Markets Authority.
Hind said: “Over some time we have had talks with BMW retailers about their use of Carwow and it is an apparent source of frustration that BMW will not allow them to use our service.
“Many of those that we have spoken to are large groups who are already using carwow in their other retail operations and want to reap the same rewards for their BMW operations.
“Due to BMW’s stance, they simply cannot and it is them and the customer that is losing out.”
Hind said that representatives from Carwow had held talks with officials from BMW UK, but said that they were “unwilling to move”.
He said that he would happily end the business’ action against BMW if it decided to change its stance.
A spokesman for BMW UK told AM that the brand was aware of the legal situation.
He added: “It’s something we feel that Carwow does not have any substance in European law in making their claim so there is a discussion between the two legal departments.”
Earlier this year Carwow raised £12.5 million from investors, including Spotify and Dropbox backers Accel Partners.
The startup was launched by chief executive James Hind, Alexandra Margolis and David Santoro in 2013 and allows users to put details of the car they are searching for and the details are passed to dealers.
The consumer then receives up to five offers from the best-rated dealers who they can then contact directly.
Hind said: "At Carwow, we enjoy working with the industry to make things simpler and more efficient for all involved."