After driving 30 hours from Montreal to Smyrna, business development manager for Robert Hydraulique Inc., Annick SauvÃ©, secured a Georgia retailer for the company’s Quebec-made insulated aerial work ladders.
Smyrna Truck Body Equipment, a retail outlet for truck equipment and accessories, agreed to carry the ladders after Ms. SauvÃ© and Robert Desrosiers, president and founder of Robert Hydraulique, brought their equipment down from Montreal April 11-13.
Like most aerial ladders, Robert Hydraulique’s products fix to utilities and public works trucks and extend 38-t o 50-feet above a vehicle, giving repair and installation crews access to tree limbs, power lines and streetlights.
But the product’s fiberglass insulation, which prevents electricity conduction from a maintenance bucket to the truck, and its ability to operate using energy from a truck battery rather than a running engine, make it different from other aerial ladders already on the market, said Joe Blackstock, sales associate with Smyrna Truck.
“It was a combination of these features that made it appealing to us,” said Mr. Blackstock explaining why the company decided to carry the product. Mr. Blackstock set up meetings with potential end-users of the product for Ms. SauvÃ© and Mr. Desrosiers during their trip to Smyrna.
Ms. SauvÃ© decided to work with Smyrna Truck after two earlier exploratory trips to the region.
Having already secured buyers in France and South Korea for the aerial ladders, Ms. SauvÃ© was intent on selling the product in the United States, she told GlobalAtlanta.
But she bypassed the geographically closer northeastern U.S. market, because she believed the Southeast would be more receptive.
“The size of the market in Georgia is much more manageable,” than the Northeast, she said, likening it to her home market in Quebec.
And, Georgia’s proximity to potential buyers in neighboring states such as Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee made it a good starting point to sell her products in the U.S., she said.
“Georgia was the best place for me to reach the Southeast. Plus, it’s a straight shot, directly south.”
Ms. SauvÃ© and Mr. Desrosiers were assisted in their visit here by Yoann Turquetil, trade attachÃ© with the Quebec Government Office in Atlanta.
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