Introducing Marubeni Group Companies

* Articles are based on information at the time of the interview.

Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Ltd.

Business content

Operation and Investment Company in U.K.’s Motor Retail & Service Industry

An automotive investment company primarily operating car dealerships in the U.K.

  • Yuki Yoshimoto, Managing Director *

  • Toyota Bolton dealership

  • Lexus Bolton dealership

Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Limited (“MAIUK”) is an automotive investment company that operates and acquires car dealerships in the United Kingdom. Whilst the U.K. car market is growing by several per cent every year, it is actually a mature market. As dealers of major manufacturers already operate throughout the U.K., it is almost impossible to open new dealerships from scratch.

MAIUK was established in 2000 with the acquisition of RRG Group Limited (“RRG”). RRG is a dealer handling mainly Toyota and several other brands, headquartered in the key city of Manchester in North West England. As MAIUK continued to expand business through additional M&A, it has established the present network of dealerships across Greater Manchester. In 2008, MAIUK acquired Norton Way Motors Limited (“Norton Way”). Headquartered in the North London town of Letchworth with a network of dealerships representing Honda and other brands around London, Norton Way agreed with MAIUK’s plan of increasing their brand range and seeking out new business areas.

RRG operates 25 dealerships in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire and has 726 employees as of March 31, 2015. Norton Way, on the other hand, operates seven dealerships across West and North London and has 337 employees as of March 31, 2015. Besides the combined 32 dealerships of RRG and Norton Way, MAIUK also operates two accident repair centres in North Manchester.

Acknowledged as the top dealer group in the U.K. with increased presence in the industry

  • RRG Toyota holds the Ichiban Award for achieving the highest levels of customer service

  • Norton Way holds the trophy for Fleet Dealer of the Year Award

The approximate combined annual car sales figures of RRG and Norton Way for fiscal 2014 were 16,000 new cars and 12,000 used cars. In recent years, MAIUK has been ranked about 25th in terms of car dealership sales in the U.K., following the major dealership groups which have locations throughout the country. So MAIUK can be called a top-class dealership group which has laid its business roots in local communities.

Furthermore, RRG has long boasted the highest sales among Toyota dealership groups in the U.K. Toyota (GB) conducts an annual awards ceremony in recognition of dealerships with the highest customer satisfaction in the U.K. Two out of three 2014 winners were RRG dealerships. This marked the fourth consecutive win for RRG, which is recognized as a top dealership group in terms of both sales volume and operation quality.

In the U.K., where vehicle leasing is prevalent, 50% of sales are occupied by corporate customers, and Norton Way has received the highest award of “Fleet Dealer of the Year” for two consecutive years in the awards system presided over by a major U.K. automotive industry magazine.

Every year MAIUK is increasing its presence within the automotive sales industry in the U.K.

Aim for steady growth in areas of expertise

  • The vibrant team at an RRG dealership

  • RRG management. From left: RRG Managing Director Tony Cliff, MAIUK Managing Director Yuki Yoshimoto, RRG Managing Director Arran Bangham

  • Honda Chiswick dealership

  • RRG is improving its dealerships to introduce new vehicles

A combination of underlying factors has contributed to MAIUK’s success to date. Specifically, the optimization of operations made possible by utilizing Marubeni’s capital and the region-centric operational experience of the RRG and Norton Way management have led to further growth. Another important element is investment in improving and maintaining each dealership ― an area where investment was previously lacking.

MAIUK is considering strengthening its position as a regional distributor through additional acquisitions and the establishment of new dealerships in areas where it already has management resources, such as North West England and around London. Also, to prevent being too dependent on its core brands, MAIUK is ambitiously selling other brands as well, and currently handles nine brands.

Developing human resources is the key to growth at MAIUK. RRG, founded in 1967, utilizes the knowledge, experience and connections of veteran employees in training younger staff, with the current managing director starting his company career as a salesperson. Norton Way’s workplace is always vibrant, with smooth communication between employees. The creation of a comfortable working environment is crucial to MAIUK’s business strategy.

Since its acquisition by MAIUK in 2008, Norton Way has steadily increased its business scale from four to seven dealerships. In fiscal 2014, the company recorded its highest-ever profit. Norton Way will aim to surpass its profit record through business expansion in line with MAIUK’s business strategy.

RRG is also looking to further improve operations by thoroughly conducting operating processes and brush-up operations based on data and various indicators.

“The customer first.” That is the slogan of the MAIUK Group. With each employee committed to applying this to their work, MAIUK aims to achieve sustainable growth in the U.K.

Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Limited

Incorporated November 2000
Head Office U.K.
Paid-in Capital 17,692,000 GBP
Marubeni Group’s Investment Ratio 100%

RRG Group Limited

Incorporated May 1972
Head Office 173 Cross Lane, Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 4AP, U.K.
TEL 44-161-742-2403
Number of Employees 726 (as of March 2015)
Sales 290,000,000 GBP (end of March 2015)
Paid-in Capital 500,000 GBP
Marubeni Group’s Investment Ratio Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Limited 100%

Norton Way Motors Limited

Incorporated July 1962
Head Office Nortonway North, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 1BL, U.K.
TEL 44-20-8996-8198
Number of Employees 337 (as of March 2015)
Sales 177,000,000 GBP (end of March 2015)
Paid-in Capital 15,000 GBP
Marubeni Group’s Investment Ratio Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Limited 100%

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