Creating niche new-car model ranges for official vehicle importers demands the best design, engineering and manufacturing. It also needs to right commercial approach. Without it, these programs risk not getting off the ground – or even failing mid-flight.
Seems I rang a bell last month.
When I recently shared why OEM carmakers trust Premcar to develop and create their new cars a number of you phoned and messaged me with questions like the one in the email at the top:
Hey, nice article on linkedin about making new cars for big car brands. I get why they work with you but how do these aussie importers convince their head offices to let them build these cars? Rob
It’s a good question.
You can see the results of our work with carmakers. But what you won’t see is the “behind-the-scenes-program” behind the vehicle program.
It’s one thing to create and produce a niche-model new-vehicle range for an official importer, but to earn the acceptance and approval of their global head office for the program to even occur is entirely different.
Make no mistake: even if there’s an obvious sales opportunity for a niche model in a new-car market like Australia’s, an official vehicle importer still needs to show their head-office colleagues its likely value – for their customers, their dealers and their overall business. They also need to know how to make the necessary internal journey to get the program approved, and this isn’t easy.
None of these are solved in an email thread or a week of Zoom meetings. It’s a tough process – and it should be, because there’s a lot at stake.
Carmakers can invest more than five years and over US $1 billion developing a new-model car. Thousands of skilled people are involved. And the final product represents everything from a global brand to future shareholder returns.
There’s no room to get it wrong.
So when an official vehicle importer proposes to its global head office an Australia-specific new-car enhancement program – by an outside company – their reaction is often caution.
You know the feeling; it’s that short burst of fizzing worry. It’s because many HQ staff don’t want their new cars ‘altered’ after such a huge investment. And if they are to be, they need to see how the reality of the enhancement program idea converts into real-world commercial sense for their business, their customers and their brand.
And if head-office decision-makers don’t support or green-light the idea, then it’s unlikely to happen.
All of this is why commercial development and internal support are big parts of our new-car enhancement programs.
To answer Rob’s question, we work closely with OEM new-car importers to make sure their program hits existing and future business targets.
We also show them how it won’t create stress-inducing, money-eating, time-consuming waves of risk along the way. Because programs like these can.
Knowing how to prevent these landmines is one of the quiet reasons why our programs are successful for everyone, including new-car buyers.
If you’re a local OEM new-vehicle importer, it can be a mistake to choose a vehicle enhancement partner based solely on their design and engineering know-how. Because it’s not enough.
A partner also needs to know how to guide the idea of an enhancement program inside an automaker’s regional and global head offices, and ensure everyone involved joins the venture. And they need to know how to help engineer the necessary commercial results, which differ from brand to brand.
If you’re looking to enhance a new car model range, there’s a danger in falling too quickly for a designer’s sketch, or someone’s promise of making a mid-range sedan handle like a European supercar.
Creating those is comparatively easy. But showing an entrepreneurial OEM new-car importer the internal and commercial paths that convert their idea of a market-specific niche model into showroom reality? That’s the challenge that matters – to customers, dealers and protective car companies executives.
It’s also the road to minimise the risk and stress for everyone inside the carmaker. And they’re two big reasons why local OEM importers choose us, and keep returning.
Bernie Quinn – Engineering Director, Premcar Pty Ltd
About Premcar – Premcar Pty Ltd is a leading Australian vehicle engineering business that specialises in the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. For more than 25 years, global car-makers have made Premcar their go-to partner for the complete design, engineering and manufacture of niche-model new cars, full-scale new-vehicle development programs, and electric vehicle (EV) conversions and manufacturing. As the name behind more than 200,000 new cars and 55,000 new-vehicle engines, Premcar’s body of work is extensive and has delivered technical and sales success for major car brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Australia. Visit premcar.com.
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