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BTL was originally established by the major British bank Barclays Bank as its representative office in Russia in the early 1970s.

BTL rapidly became an important link between buyers and sellers in the Soviet Union, UK and USA and assisted the Lucas Automotive Group to conclude several licenses and contracts for the manufacture of automotive components. By 1988 BTL (as Barclays Trade-Liaison Ltd) had established a solid reputation in the FSU and the company was then taken into private ownership, with BTL being incorporated in the UK as a new company (Bilateral Trade-Liaison Ltd) still headed by its Managing Director, Colin Williams. BTL continued to concentrate its activities in the automotive sector on behalf of Lucas Automotive and began the development of an aftermarket network to service the growing numbers of foreign cars in Russia. BTL also assisted in the development of local manufacture through OE supply contracts and the supply of manufacturing, assembly and test equipment.

Following various mergers, reorganisations and takeovers within Lucas and later TRW, the Lucas Diesel business was sold to Delphi Automotive - creating the new company Delphi Diesel Systems. Coincidentally, Hartridge also became an independent company once again, before itself being absorbed into Delphi Diesel. With its knowledge, experience and wide contacts, BTL was proud to have been the longest serving distributor for the FSU for all of these companies as well as for Stanadyne Diesel Systems and for a much briefer period Siemens VDO.

This provided a strong foundation for the future development of BTL's worldwide diesel business. With the wealth of experience gained from cooperating with these companies and no longer impeded by any restrictive distributor agreements, BTL is now able to freely offer customers all over the world the benefit of a complete package of services to meet all their requirements for diesel spare parts, diagnostics and test equipment, training and documentation from all of the leading manufacturers. Not only does this allow BTL to offer customers original genuine parts from these manufacturers, as supplied OE to vehicle and engine manufacturers, but also comparable parts, equipment and tools from alternative competitors.