Two students at the USC Marshall School of Business aren’t waiting until graduation to start their own company. Sophomores Jonathan Lee and Kun Song have launched AutoPreme, a luxury car accessory startup company, and it has already taken off, raising $20,000 in sales in three months.
For most undergraduate students, application of knowledge in the outside world does not begin until after graduation. Starting approximately one year ago during their freshman years, however, Lee and Song began brainstorming and developing a business concept based on their mutual love of cars. Through their research, Lee and Song discovered the grandiosity of the automobile industry: 1.3 million cars are sold per month in the United States alone. AutoPreme was officially launched in November 2015 in efforts to make a mark on the accessory sector of this already booming industry.
“The car accessory business is dominated by a select few companies, who all produce similarly styled accessories,” Lee said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “AutoPreme is here to give consumers a real choice when shopping for car accessories. Our first product is our luxurious floor mats.”
AutoPreme has already made a significant dent in the automobile accessory industry despite having only been out for three months. Within two weeks of the launch, AutoPreme had been selling five to 10 sets of floor mats a day for a variety of car models, with each set priced at $350-399. To date, AutoPreme has accumulated about $20,000 in sales with an advertising model centered around minor social media marketing in addition to accompanying features on several automobile blogs and forums.
One of the company’s current areas of development is the production of different molds for the floor mats. Currently, AutoPreme produces molds for different models of Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Hyundai vehicles. Additionally, in an effort to expand the types of floor mat, consumers are encouraged to send AutoPreme an email with the year, brand and model of their unlisted vehicle to purchase a custom mold.
Moreover, Lee and Song have taken the necessary steps toward garnering the support needed to further the success of their company and have focused their attentions toward raising funds to expand their company.
“Currently, we are in the process of finalizing our crowdfunding campaign and are not taking orders. We will be launching a campaign through KickStarter. Through the funding, we will be able to expand our customizable range, bringing in more molds and colors,” Lee said. “We even auditioned for Shark Tank last week and hope to expand our company through it.”
AutoPreme’s vision does not end there, though. Lee and Song have crafted their mats out of a substance they call PremeLeather, a waterproof, anti-oil, acid and scratch material perfect for the floor of a car.
Additionally, Lee and Song have incorporated an aspect of humanitarianism into their brand, something they are hoping to increase the appeal of AutoPreme as the company expands in the future.
“We are passionate toward the responsibility of saving our environment and natural resources and are proud to announce our sponsorship for the [World Wildlife Fund],” Lee said. “For every AutoPreme floor mat order, we will donate $5 back to the World Wildlife Fund.”