Bryan Hansel faced plenty of doubters in the United States who were skeptical about electric trucks. Would it be able to do the job in the same way a typical gas-fueled truck could do it? And even if it could, would he be able to sell enough of them to drive down price to make it affordable?
Hansel’s ability to conquer these challenges would be the key to making Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp. a success.
He began by taking the majority of a large sum of grant money and giving it to customers to reduce the net price of the vehicle on the first 500 trucks compared to what it would be in the future. He also picked six launch partners who were advocates, not customers, to build the trucks and turned away others who were interested.
This strategy gave Hansel time, a clear customer voice and the volume to create a great truck at a price people could afford. The partnerships also created a foundation of credibility in the market on which to build the future of the business.
Hansel, the company’s CEO, relies on several principles to guide his business decisions. The first is to swing above your weight and present yourself as someone who can deliver as if you were bigger and stronger than you are.
Learn from your mistakes, don’t be afraid of change and make sure that in everything you do, you’re having a meaningful impact on your customer.
And through all this, act with honesty and integrity. If you’re going to ask others to take a risk and implement a change, you need to be 100 percent honest with them so they can make informed decisions.
This philosophy has helped Hansel make Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp. a success and a company that has delivered financial, cultural and environmental success.
How to reach: Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp., (816) 464-0508 or www.smithelectric.com