Competition is high in the automotive industry, and it is difficult for an individual to break into the market. When you have invented a product that has the potential for success, it is easier to sell it to a larger company that has the resources to see it through production. As you develop your sales pitch, consider how you can appeal to buyers' fiscal sense and convince them that your invention will positively affect their profit margins.
Locate potential buyers. Depending on the type of product you have invented, you might look for auto manufacturers, parts manufacturers or companies who sell after-market products for cars. For each company, gather the contact information for the person in charge of product selection. Rank your list in terms of location, similar products, customer base, history of accepting new inventions and existing equipment.
Retain a salesperson to sell your product idea. The salesperson is an important facet of selling an invention. Because your product is unproven, buyers will judge the credentials of the person making the presentation as much as the product itself. Thus, if you lack automotive background, get someone who does, so investors will have more confidence. Consider automotive engineers, mechanics or auto industry buyers.
Make a working prototype. When potential investors are considering a new invention, they will want to see a working prototype that utilizes the actual materials and parts. Hire a custom shop to manufacture and assemble your invention, if necessary; the more polished it is, the easier it will be to find a buyer. If you have invented a part that is a tiny piece of a larger automotive process, develop a three-dimensional model or digital walkthrough of the larger process to show how it fits.
Collect information about the automotive market, audience and financial opportunity. Gather data about the target audience for your invention, competitor products and the potential for making money from the idea. Find statistical information to support your claims. Because the automotive industry has been going strong for so many years, a successful invention must make existing processes better or present a new way to achieve a goal, such as alternative energy or gas mileage, for example.
Present the invention to the companies at the top of your list. Tailor each presentation to meet the needs of the specific company. Explain why your invention would benefit customers, such as making cars cheaper, faster or more attractive, or how it might streamline the auto manufacturing process. Give a brief, but compelling, summary of the financial information to convince buyers they will see a significant return on investment.