Yaron Saghiv is the Chief Marketing Officer at UVeye, a computer vision tech company that develops automated inspection systems for vehicles powered by artificial intelligence and proprietary hardware. He is part of the senior executive team leading UVeye’s efforts to disrupt and automate the vehicle scanning industry using AI and working with world-class car manufacturers like Volvo and Toyota.
Yaron is a growth hacking expert and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in B2B and B2C startups in Israel, the UK, Singapore, and the US. Over the years, he has led talks, workshops, and speeches around growth hacking based on products, APIs, public relations, and affiliation methods.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Yaron Saghiv shares his journey into the automotive space
- UVeye’s entry into the US car market
- How UVeye works with car manufacturers and dealers
- Future challenges and trends in the automotive space
- Do electric vehicles impact how UVeye’s technology works?
- Yaron talks about UVeye’s recent award from Automotive News
In this episode…
In the ever-evolving automotive space, there are a number of techniques dealerships can employ to stay relevant and provide top-notch customer experiences. So, how can you utilize AI-powered technology to improve service deliveries and satisfy market demands?
To provide quality products for customers, UVeye has leveraged AI and visual aid in its business operations. This has allowed the company to diversify its services and transition from serving homeland security to assisting OEMs, car manufacturers, and dealers. This technology has also created opportunities for the company to enter new markets in Europe, Asia, and the US.
In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay is joined by Yaron Saghiv, the Chief Marketing Officer at UVeye, to talk about providing car manufacturers and dealers with AI-powered vehicle inspections. They also discuss the difference between the US and Israeli car markets, future challenges and trends in the automotive space, and UVeye’s recent award from Automotive News.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Ilana Shabtay on LinkedIn
- Yaron Saghiv on LinkedIn
- Amir Hever on LinkedIn
- David Oren on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.
Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.
Visit their website at www.autoleadstar.com to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.
Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry.
Ilana Shabtay 0:14
Ilana Shabtay here host of the InsideAuto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. And before we introduce today’s guest, this episode is sponsored by AutoLeadStar.com. AutoLeadStar is automotive’s first and leading customer data and experience platform CDXP. Top dealers invest in CDXPs to unify dealership data sources, automatically create one to one customized journeys, and execute omni-channel shopping experiences. Wonderful. So today we have Yaron Saghiv joining us on the podcast. Yaron, how are you?
Yaron Saghiv 0:49
Great, great. Great to be here.
Ilana Shabtay 0:52
Yes. And don’t be deceived, he is not in Israel. He’s actually in New Jersey. A recent move we’ll talk about that. Yaron is a growth hacking expert and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in both b2b and b2c startups in Israel, UK, Singapore. And he’s now in the US. These days, he is the chief marketer and part of the senior executive team, leading UVeye’s efforts to disrupt and automate the vehicle scanning industry using AI and working with world class car manufacturers like Volvo and Toyota. In the last several years, he led talks, workshops and speeches around growth hacking, growth hacking, excuse me, based on products, API’s public relations, DUNS and affiliation methods. Prior to this, he also co founded and led several ventures. So really, really seasoned entrepreneur, again, thank you for joining us today. Excited to hear a little bit about your experience.
Yaron Saghiv 1:47
Sure, yeah. No, it’s It’s great to be here. You mentioned quite a lot of, I would say more b2c kind of experience, but in a very different world today in automotive b2b. So but yeah, fantastic.
Ilana Shabtay 2:00
Yeah, it’s great. And it’s also just I biased, but love seeing Israel innovation into the automotive space that we’re in. So excited to have you on here. Can you talk a little bit about how you did get into automotive, I really like to hear this story from people on the podcast, because everyone has such interesting paths into automotive. And then we kind of all get stuck in automotive, because we end up loving it, though, it would love to know your way in.
Yaron Saghiv 2:24
So it’s not only my way, all of the UBI country or journey, because we started a bit from a different place. Around 2016, the company was formed. And it was kind of built to fulfill a very basic challenger need, which is essentially replacing, or doing a better job than a guard with a mirror that comes in and you know, checks below your car for bombs if you enter an embassy or an airport or seaport or sensitive facility. So we started from a kind of very different market, which is Homeland Security, working with construction companies and government tenders. And those kinds of things. When we formed a scanner that you just put on the ground, you drive your vehicle above it, and it will tell you anything that is suspicious below your vehicle, right. And what what happened with us is that we started going to trade shows, and we started showing this to selling from day one with these security clients. And just you know, because in Israel, there’s so many OEMs, so many OEMs that have innovation labs and eco motion and other kinds of events. They just came and saw us and you know, Led by Amir, and was do and do their chief strategy officer back then we just started getting interest from manufacturers just saying could you put this in our plant and start scanning vehicles for, you know, mechanical and safety issues. And so somehow the way just led us into it, you know, and seeing, seeing what we can do with computer vision and scanning the vehicle all around and telling you everything you need to know about it with hardware that we create. And that’s kind of how we got into automotive.
Ilana Shabtay 4:02
That’s so crazy. We have a similar story in a different realm. But also we were outside of automotive. Someone saw our platform said you should get into automotive. It’s interesting how that works out. But you don’t do have you totally left the homeland security industry and you’re solely focused on automotive now.
Yaron Saghiv 4:18
So the main focus is automotive. We have a bit of security clients that still use our product almost off the shelf. But yeah, the main the main strategic focus for few years is automotive for sure.
Ilana Shabtay 4:32
So when that switch happened, how did you guys handle it? I mean, you know, this really car market, it’s completely different than the American car market. I mean, here, I don’t know, I don’t know many people that even buy their cars from car dealerships here in Israel. So was that a complete I at least was born in the states and understand it, but was that a complete shock? Or were you familiar with it? What was that process like?
Yaron Saghiv 4:56
It was a bit of a shock actually, I remember the first time I came to do into the United States to Ohio a couple of years back and enter the car dealership. And, you know, I got back to Israel to the rest of the team and say like, Guys, you don’t understand it. It’s like, it’s a second hand plus service plus Starbucks. Plus, like, whatever else waiting room. And it’s like, Whoa, it’s like, you know, second experience. It’s not like what we’re used to. And, yeah, so it was a big transition. It took us quite a while, but you know, it, we had a few stages. It started from the more classic relationship with OEMs, and kind of innovation labs. And then gradually, we just understood that we want to leverage our technology in the mass market, which is dealerships auctions and fleets. And we did our homework, we got good us, you know, staff to join us. And we learned from them a lot. And nothing beats being on the ground and why, myself, the CEO, Amir and David Oren, Chief Strategy Officer, the three of us moved out here to the United States, right, so then we put our money where our mouth is, right.
Ilana Shabtay 6:02
Yeah. And when we just you just had some press about that. So congratulations on the move. I think it’s the it’s the right move. I also made a small move for auto lead stars, so I get it. There’s nothing like being in the market. That is for sure. And then so you talked a lot about how the OEMs were interested in it, the manufacturers were interested. So now you go direct to manufacture and, and direct to dealers as well.
Yaron Saghiv 6:24
Yeah, so it’s an interesting kind of, plethora. So on one hand, we made a lot of noise. And so people are understanding that using visual aids and service lane or for auctions or for used cars, eventually touches the customer in a much better customer experience. So on one hand, we have the direct dealers that are approaching us or we approach, we have a couple of massive auction networks, which some will be publicized soon, that have been with us for quite a while and then was fleet the same. So on one hand, we’ve got that kind of b2b relationship with dealers and facilities, smaller facilities. But what happened is that we got on the radar of the North American OEM kind of offices, whether it’s Volvo cars, USA, or General Motors, and they kind of said, Alright, there’s a much bigger play here. And we are interested in this customer experience. And we’re interested in these kind of tools for all of our dealership network. So they use their own incentives and kind of programs to help us, you know, to help us make it easier for other dealers to use us basically, or to get on board.
Ilana Shabtay 7:29
Yeah. And then just based on what you’ve known about automotive, what you what you’re reading about it, whether it touches UVI, or in a different realm. What are some of the challenges that you think we’re gonna see as an industry in 2023? Like, do you feel like the chip shortages are going to, you know, continue with they’re going to be something else? I mean, I don’t know. We can only predict, but I would love to know what you’re seeing or what you’re thinking.
Yaron Saghiv 7:55
Yeah, I think I think there’s a few very objective trends that are happening, whether it’s you mentioned chips or shortage or COVID. A lot of the manufacturer just stopped manufacturing cars. So you feel it in the US. I don’t know now in Israel, but when you want to buy
Ilana Shabtay 8:11
waiting for my my Hyundai five, Ionic. Evie. Okay. Yeah, for 10 months, it still has not been delivered to me. Or the
Yaron Saghiv 8:21
impressive you were on the list that you made the list in Israel, but like,
Ilana Shabtay 8:25
I went to a real dealership. But this was a while ago. Yeah, we definitely feel like here, but again, not as much only because most people don’t do that. Most people are on like, you know, secondhand? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yaron Saghiv 8:37
Which is different, like across countries. But obviously, the US being the main market, it’s done in a very traditional way, right? car dealer and you buy a new car, and then you come with your warranty and get serviced. Or maybe you buy your trade in and get another one. So yeah, you definitely feel the car shortage here, whether it’s the prices of secondhand, whether it’s the backlog for new cars. So that’s something that’s going to be with us for a while. I think that the other trend that we’re seeing that is related to EVs and, and other kind of trends, but it’s like Tesla kind of led the way of selling direct to consumer. So a lot of manufacturers want that relationship directly with the consumer, whether it’s in selling secondhand cars, you know, like GM and launch CarBravo. There’s other kinds of services that OEMs want to provide, whether it’s the patio car, bringing your car, servicing your car for you, so almost to you know, use the dealership in a in a different way. It’s kind of the middleman so, so I think that that trend is, you know, it’s making dealer think like, Okay, what could we do to still be relevant and what could we do to provide the best customer experience? So I think that kind of trend of how does that balance between the OEM and the dealer, you know, and still, and there’s definitely a place for it. I mean, dealers have got such a significant kind of impact on the, on the relationship, and they’ve done so much for this industry. So there needs to be a balance that will take time to figure out. How does all of this happen, basically?
Ilana Shabtay 10:16
Yeah. And actually, you mentioned EVs just wondering, does that affect how you ve works? Like? I told you mess it up? UVI? Does it affect the way it works? You have to change the system? Is there any kind of like programmatic difference? UVI?
Yaron Saghiv 10:38
No, I mean, at the end of the day, what we do is we provide, you know, pieces of equipment or pathology, which is essentially cameras and sensors and lighting installed on the ground, it could be at a manufacturing plant, or it could be at the depot, and it could be at a dealership service lane. There’s different relationships with different customers. But eventually, like, you know, it’s a very straightforward kind of experience. What You See Is What You Get to drive the car through it, and it tells you anything wrong with it. Yeah, exactly.
Ilana Shabtay 11:08
Okay, you mentioned Tesla, not me. So let’s talk about this award that you guys just got, and maybe you’ll get to meet Elon Musk, which is everyone’s dream. Objectively, of course, next week, yeah. Yeah. Tell me I think so. UVI just won actually pretty big deal, the Automotive News All Star Award. So congratulations on that. A little bit about that. It was announced just on Monday. So pretty new news. And you mentioned you’re going to be going up to Detroit next week to accept the award. And I’m sure there’ll be some kind of ceremony and again, maybe Mr. Musk will be there. So you got to come back on the podcast and tell us how that is, when you meet?
Yaron Saghiv 11:46
I promise that we’ll do. Yeah, no, it’s really, really humbling, I would say because basically, two days ago, it was announced the mayor to see oh, it’s gonna, you know, accept an award for being the fixed up vendor of the year, donated by Automotive News. And what’s really impressive about this award, first of all, we had a really crazy, like, really intense, you know, started with was launching a new product, which is called that this like, which is the exterior kind of arc that modular for a dealership, followed by an ADA, which was a big hit for us. And then Volvo cars announced are going to do a national program with us. In June, General Motors announced that they’re invested in us and they’re also rolling us out to the national program to eventually equip most of their dealerships with our technology. So this award kind of is the very sweet kind of stamp for this year, for everything we’ve done. And, you know, all the sacrifice that the team has done and worked very hard. And I’m sure you know, from your end, also, managing across continent kind of team is not easy. And people really worked hard to support all of these efforts. And it’s a very prestigious award. I mean, automotive news are, you know, traditionally one of the most impressive publications in automotive world. It’s completely editorial, though the whatever kind of marketing stunts advertorial kind of fees or even nominating?
Ilana Shabtay 13:16
Yaron Saghiv 13:17
Yeah, so it’s really, really humbling, I have to say,
Ilana Shabtay 13:21
yeah, that is, that’s a really big deal. Congratulations. That’s great. And that’s for 2022? Or do they do it kind of for 2020 2020 20?
Yaron Saghiv 13:28
It’s for 2022. For the last year, they picked 40 people. You know, you mentioned Elon Musk, and some, you know, the CEO of car Max, which is one of our investors. And quite a few other, you know, VPs and C levels from really impressive companies out there. So it’s really honoring to be on the team. That’s,
Ilana Shabtay 13:52
that’s, that’s amazing. Awesome. Well, it sounds like you guys are doing really good things. You will be at nada, I’ll finally get to meet you in person. So I’m looking forward to that myself. Do you know the booth number offhand? Now, you tackled me with a question that I know. Anyway, you can write it later. Yeah. Yeah, we’ll write it out in the show notes. And I know it’s really big, so we won’t be able to miss you. Right. You guys have a big space there. So that’s where people can find you. Any other last thoughts for our listeners today?
Yaron Saghiv 14:27
No, just thanks for the Phil goon and, you know, obviously, great to be on this podcast and, and meet you again. And yeah, just maybe a shout out to promote to get more Israelis to join the US aftermarket kind of automotive field. You know, there’s a lot of space and it’s exciting, and we’d love to do more with us.
Ilana Shabtay 14:51
Yeah, I second that. That’s awesome. Thank you so much for joining us today Yaron. Okay, great for those listening to InsideAuto Podcast. You can find us on insideautopodcast.com and all your favorite podcast streaming outlets. Thanks for joining.
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