A Chippenham-based learning and development agency, which already trades across Europe, South Africa and the Middle East, is about to break into China thanks to a growing demand for UK expertise in the automotive finance sector.
The rts Group specialises in helping automotive manufacturers develop frontline staff working in their dealerships, and its clients include Ford, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. One arm of the group – FIMTRAC – focusses on vehicle finance, and it is this area of expertise in particular which is seeing growing demand overseas.
“We really are working in global marketplace now, but while in the UK vehicle financing is well-developed and established this isn’t the case in the developing markets,” said rts Group Managing Director Malcolm Miller. “In growing automotive markets, manufacturers are finding that the dealerships’ customer-facing staff don’t have the expertise in vehicle financing to meet the opportunities presented.
“Point of sale finance is a way to help manufacturers engender customer loyalty leading to repeat business, and is also a vital tool in trade cycle management. Through FIMTRAC, we are the acknowledged experts in this area and at the same time are also able to ensure our clients are up-to-date with current legislation and so remain compliant.”
rts has been working in South Africa for manufacturers developing programmes for dealership staff to increase finance penetration at point of sale. Now a number of manufacturers have asked the company to repeat this successful model in China. A team from rts will be visiting China next month to help forge links with dealerships and with the trainers who will deliver their programmes locally.
Globally, the vehicle sales market is seeing a resurgence. Just last week, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that UK sales for 2013 were their best since 2007, with 2.26 million vehicles registered in 2013 – a 10.8 per cent rise on 2012. Three-quarters of sales to private buyers now involve some kind of financing package.
Malcolm said: “Now is a great time to seize the opportunity we have to extend both our client base and our geographical reach. We’re very excited about this opportunity in China which we are sure will be as successful as the programmes we have been running in South Africa.”