EP32 | Our 12-Year Overnight ‘Success’ & Thoughts on Toyota’s New Trailhunter
Clay and Rachelle have a long and colorful history of building their brand at the SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas. Listen to the many stories of their 12 years spent attending SEMA and how they went from wondering how to get inside the event to sharing the stage with Toyota at this year’s show.
Then join in on the conversation with Clay, Rachelle, and Jimmy as Clay and Rachelle explain Toyota’s new Trailhunter grade of vehicles and the difference between Toyota’s popular TRD and Trailhunter.
This is a content-packed episode you don’t want to miss that dives into the history of XO, the current role of O.E.M.s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the overlanding industry, and even Rachelle and Clay’s business philosophy that has led to their success.
Detailed Episode Summary
Part 1 (1:30-15:49) Intro and a Look at the 12-Year Background of X Overland at SEMA: Clay shares the story of his and Rachelle’s first experiences at the SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas, explaining how Expedition Overland became established within the industry.
Part 2 (15:49-17:50) The Evolution of Overlanding and the Industry Surrounding it: Clay, Rachelle, and Jimmy discuss the evolution of overlanding as an activity, how the definition has broadened with the popularity of overlanding, and the vital role of education within the industry.
Part 3 (17:50-24:43) 10-Year Quick Review of X Overland’s Evolution as a Business and Principles of their success: Clay and Rachelle share the stories of their ups and downs within the industry and how they were able to persevere to get to where they are today.
Part 4 (24:45-29:06) The Success of X Overland and the Business Principles Behind it: Clay shares the story of his first pitch to Toyota and the business principles he and Rachelle have practiced which have led to their success.
Part 5 (29:06-34:00) Expedition Overland’s Role with Toyota at the 2022 SEMA Auto Show: Rachelle and Clay explain their role with Toyota at the 2022 SEMA Auto Show and the role their three vehicles played in the booth: Orion, Simba, Clone. They also share the backstory of the logistics challenge of getting these vehicles from Iceland to SEMA.
Part 6 (34:00-35:00) Rachelle Croft’s Philosophy of Business Success: Rachelle shares her philosophy of business success and how her philosophy finds application in overlanding as well. The value of problem-solving in business, overlanding, and life is explained along with how this philosophy fits into the brand culture at X Overland.
Part 7 (35:00-47:55) How are OEMs like Toyota solving the problem of creating a “Turn-key” overland vehicle? Clay and Rachelle explain Toyota’s new “Trailhunter” grade for both trucks and SUVs and the difference between “TRD” and “Trailhunter.” Clay takes a look at the thinking and business strategy behind OEM grades and model releases.The benefits of the Trailhunter grade for consumers is explained, and Clay and Rachelle discuss Toyota’s new “A.A.P.” (Approved Associated Products) Program.
Part 8 (47:55-51:00) What does Toyota’s Trailhunter grade mean for XO Truck Builds? Clay and Rachelle share their thoughts on the Trailhunter grade from Toyota and what this may mean for XO truck builds.
Part 9 (51:00-54:30) What does the future of overlanding look like? Clay, Rachelle, and Jimmy discuss the future of overlanding as a pursuit and as an industry and the benefits that are likely to come from this.
Part 10 (54:30-End) A Look at the New 2022 Toyota Sequoia as an Overland Vehicle: Clay shares details about Toyota’s new 2022 Toyota Sequoia Hybrid and explains our approach to building it through “Simba,” our newest XO vehicle build.
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