PAUL STAINTON: Gentlemen, start your engines. A Peterborough car manufacturer is expanding its business to Russia. Radical Sportscars, based in Westwood, signed a deal yesterday that will see its cars sold in the country, and may well see a race series set up in the coming years. Radical Sportscars, going to Russia? We can speak to Will Brown. He’s the Marketing Officer at Radical, and has been celebrating.
WILL BROWN: Yes. Absolutely Paul. Yes, it’s a great thing, and a really exciting time for us. We’re growing all the time. This year is set to be another record year for us, so entering the Russian market is quite timely really.
PAUL STAINTON: How did it all come about?
WILL BROWN: Well, we’ve had a presence in the Eastern European market for some time now, and in fact it’s been a growing market for us. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, these sort of regions are really expanding now, particularly in motor sport. There’s a real passion there. People have got the money. They want to spend it. So it’s through association and contacts within those markets that we managed to find a strong hub of motorsport enthusiasts in Russia and around Moscow, who are really passionate about the product, and want to get involved.
PAUL STAINTON: Have they not got their own sports cars?
WILL BROWN: There’s not really a massive domestic market at the moment. The automotive market in Russia is expanding hugely. And the automotive market has recognised that the big four countries that are going to be important over the next twenty five years will be Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now we’ve had a stronghold in China for a number of years now. We’ve recently launched into the Latin American and the Indian markets, so naturally Russia was the next one on the list.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. And you’ve got to look, I suppose, in these straitened times, to emerging markets, and where the people are, and where the demand is.
WILL BROWN: Yes. Absolutely. And I guess that’s what supported us through the recession, and through the difficult economic situation that we’ve had over the last few years. We’ve always looked abroad. Our biggest overseas market for the last couple of years has been Australia. So yes, it’s been important to us.
PAUL STAINTON: Because you’re a luxury really, aren’t you? A luxury that not everybody can afford.
WILL BROWN: Absolutely. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s a hobby. But interestingly with Moscow at the moment, they’re building a new Formula 1 circuit that’s due to be used next year, I believe. So the time is right for us to enter that market.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. Exactly. And this race series that might take off as well, what sort of series are we talking about?
WILL BROWN: Well, we run around 15 single-marque series around the world, using our own cars solely. So they’re run by the different international distributors, in the UK, in America, in the Middle East. I think the first step will be that they’re using our cars recreationally on track days, which is where you take your own car along to a track day, and simply enjoy the driving. In these days of speed cameras and what have you that’s a much better way to enjoy the cars. Naturally, in time, we hope to set up a race series out there for our cars.
PAUL STAINTON: Brilliant stuff. And how soon before one of your cars is off to Russia?
WILL BROWN: Well we’ve actually delivered the first one. They’ve taken their first demo car. That was presented at the Konig Motor Club in Moscow a couple of weeks ago, in front of the local press and media. We’re hoping to send another few out over the next month or so. And then the new Moscow Ring Circuit is expected to open in June time. So as soon as that circuit opens, we’ll be there.
PAUL STAINTON: Brilliant stuff. That’s fantastic. Thank you Will. Much appreciated for coming on this morning.
WILL BROWN: Thank you.
PAUL STAINTON: And I’m glad that Radical is doing such great business out in Russia, and on the way to India as well.