The Automotive Testing Expo is the place for companies to introduce a new testing equipment and new technologies for automotive professionals. The expo is arranged at Novi, a suburban district of Detroit, in Michigan. The venue location is optimal as many car manufacturers have their facilities and test benches nearby. Therefore, the expo attracts automotive professionals from all over the world.
Gasera Ltd. participated in Automotive Testing Expo North America for the first time in October 2017. The main reason for the exhibition participation was to launch the new GASERA ONE SHED. It is designed for the automotive shed testing. In addition, our goal was to gain experiences about the exhibition, from North American automotive testing market and overall automotive business.
With all the excitement of product launch related activities, it is fair to say, that exhibitor services worked efficiently. Unfortunately though, this event will be remembered from broken water pipe, lack of water and red toilets at the front door of the expo.
How to convince automotive testing customer?
Our target audience is a small group professionals, who have many years of experience from the monitoring of automotive evaporative emissions. They do have their well-established testing processes in place with high quality equipment from well-known suppliers. The network of potential customers, influencers or decision makers know each other pretty well.
There is a first time in everything. For an unknown brand is a challenging task to bring across a new innovation. It is challenging, even in the case of obvious benefits against previous instruments. For the GASERA ONE SHED this means:
- Meets the current EPA (The US Environmental Protection Agency) measurement specifications of ethanol
- Detection limits are superior to previously used instrumentation (EtOH 23ppb compared to earlier 60 ppb when required limit is 36ppb)
- Measurement results are fully pressure and temperature compensated
We were launching an innovation for photoacoustic gas measurement technology to the automotive community. Despite the challenges, it was also rewarding to be able to set new standards for the whole testing business. But how to convince the potential customer, when they don’t know much about you? As a newcomer, you need to have a customer reference. Even a single successful customer case makes a difference. Someone who gives you a quote and backs up your story. That is why advocacy within this business is the most important asset of building the business further.
Convincing customers with real testing data
Obviously, in the case of technological innovation, there always are professionals on your side and against you. There are more forward looking professionals, who want to test and try new approaches to be able to keep up with the competition or for some other self motivating reason. And then the others, who don’t want to start fix anything before it is broken.
We were fortunate to receive some prelaunch testing data from our first customers. They are the forerunners of automotive testing and advocates of photoacoustic technology. We also received some good tips what features to bring up and how to speak with the language of the customer. The value of this will be seen later, when few important negotiations will proceed.
Personal learnings and leads from automotive testing
The Automotive Testing Expo 2017 was a success for us, when thinking about the challenges and victories. We managed to reach most of our targets for the expo and related meetings. Personal learnings and new experiences were well enough to create the value for the participation. Let alone the list of leads received from the expo.
Looking forward for the next year. And the story continues.