With the recent push for driver safety regulations in the EU as part of the General Safety Regulation (GSR), Smart Eye is at the forefront of innovation in driver monitoring systems. The company’s driver drowsiness and distraction detection technology has already been embedded in more than a million cars worldwide by some of the world’s leading OEMs. With a new business unit – Smart Eye AIS –the company is now building on this success by focusing specifically on the heavy-duty vehicle segments in the aftermarket.
The US is one of the largest heavy-duty fleet markets in the world but given the complexities and regulatory differences compared to the EU, Smart Eye AIS needed support in assessing the market opportunity to explore how and where exactly they come into play within the market.
Business Sweden stepped in to support the Smart Eye AIS team to better understand the procurement and buying strategies within the heavy-duty vehicle segments and identify and connect them with potential partners in the US. Over the course of five months, Business Sweden conducted almost 50 interviews across the sector with various stakeholders, ranging from associations and the US Department of Transportation to dealerships, distributors, competitors, fleet owners, and other relevant players in the market.
The mission was to develop a thorough report on the US heavy-duty aftermarket and to pinpoint exactly where Smart Eye AIS could fill a gap in the complex value-chain, and to identify the partners needed to execute the company’s plan for US expansion.We had a productive collaboration with Business Sweden. In a short period of time, Business Sweden conducted an in-depth market opportunity assessment and made valuable introductions. This enabled us to focus and take tangible next steps in bringing our new driver support system to market in the US
The extensive analysis into the heavy-duty fleet market in the US became a crucial foundation for connecting Smart Eye with relevant key players in what was revealed to an industry heavily shaped by personal business relationships.After the many interviews, it became abundantly clear that the heavy-duty fleet industry in the US is uniquely relationship-based and all about who you know. Building genuine connections within the industry is essential and takes time. They want to consistently see you at events and get to know you to build trust before entering business discussions. As this presented a unique challenge for the Smart Eye AIS team based in Sweden, it was essential to identify partners that could support with a strong local network and provide credibility with fleets.
Having recognized the need to develop deep personal connections within the industry, Smart Eye AIS decided to team up with Business Sweden to target partners in the short-term, as this would allow them to leverage the existing network and build trust with end customers – fleet owners. As a next step, Business Sweden delved further into the network of sales partners, identifying key opportunities for Smart Eye to establish their offering and facilitating introductions so that Smart Eye could begin to forge closer relationships in the industry.
Want to learn more about how we can help you grow your global sales in the Americas? Please contact Abigail Richardson (Abigail.Richardson@business-sweden.se) at Business Sweden for more information.