Automotive sector learning and development agency RTS is about to break into the lucrative Chinese market to satisfy a soaring demand for finance expertise in car dealerships.
The Chippenham-based firm, which already trades across Europe, South Africa and the Middle East, specialises in helping car manufacturers such as Ford, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota develop frontline staff working in their dealerships.
The group’s FIMTRAC arm, which focusses on vehicle finance, is experiencing growing demand overseas.
RTS has been working with manufacturers in South Africa to develop programmes for dealership staff to help them increase sales of finance products when they sell a car.
Now a number of manufacturers have asked RTS to repeat this successful model in China. RTS staff will visit China next month to help forge links with dealerships and with the trainers who will deliver their programmes locally.
RTS managing director Malcolm Miller, pictured, said: “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.
“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.”
Three-quarters of private car buyers now take out some kind of financing and with a resurgence of car sales around the world as the global economy emerges from recession, manufacturers are increasingly looking to increase sales of point-of-sale finance products.
China is a massively important market to the global car industry as the country’s emerging middle class snap up imported cars.
Mr Miller added: “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.”
RTS was established in 1989. It now employs 50 people and 100 associates.
The firm was accredited with an ‘outstanding two stars’ by the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for award 2012 and last year was a finalist for two national Elearning Awards.