Automotive learning and development company RTS Group has strengthened its foothold in China by opening an office there, three years after it first started trading in the country.
RTS Group, based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, broke into the Chinese market in 2014, thanks to a growing demand for UK expertise in the automotive finance sector.
Since then, the company has been building its client base and now has an office in Beijing, which Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan was invited to officially open via Skype.
Michelle cut a ribbon in RTS’s orange corporate colour, draped across a large screen, while the company’s China associate, Leyun Wang, did the same at the China office, accompanied by some Chinese fire crackers.
RTS Group specialises in helping automotive manufacturers create world-class retailers by developing frontline staff, working with brands including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Mazda. One arm of the group – FIMTRAC – focuses on vehicle finance, and it is this area of expertise in particular which is seeing growing demand overseas.
“From our base in Chippenham, and our new office in China, we are able to operate across the world and we have an impressive list of 41 countries that we work in,” said Managing Director Malcolm Miller. “China has huge potential for us, we have established a footprint there and they are crying out for the service we are offering so opening an office was a logical step.
“The automotive finance sector is relatively new in China and other developing markets, and it is in this area that we have had the most success because manufacturers are finding that the dealerships’ customer-facing staff don’t have the expertise in vehicle financing to meet the opportunities presented.”
The timing for the new office is ideal, said Malcolm, with global new car sales on the up. In the UK, 2016 recorded the highest ever number of new cars, with 2.69 million registrations, up 2.3% on previous year.
Michelle Donelan said the event presented her first long-distance ribbon cutting ceremony and praised the RTS team on their success. She said: “It’s wonderful to see a Chippenham company like this being able to take UK expertise across to China. The company itself is growing which is good news for the town.”