A.O. Smith brings products on the road

A.O. Smith Corp. is selling its products a little differently this year—through a traveling bus tour.

A.O. Smith Corp. is selling its products a little differently this year—through a traveling bus tour.
The Milwaukee-based water heater manufacturer has created a moving showroom to demonstrate its newest models and encourage energy-saving solutions, the High Efficiency Revolution Tour.
The tour started at the A.O. Smith Water Products Company in Ashland City, Tenn. and has criss-crossed the country for the last seven months, making about 350 stops so far, said Charles Wright, director of corporate communications.
It rolled into Milwaukee on Oct. 5, stopping at Auer Steel in Milwaukee and then the world headquarters, where employees explored the RV display.
“This was just a really good way to get this in front of contractors,” Wright said. “It’s an opportunity for them to see if first-hand and it’s a lot more effective than literature.
The RV cost about $150,000 to design and eight weeks to build. It will tour the country for at least two years, he said.
Inside the vehicle, the company’s hybrid electric, solar thermal and natural gas water heaters are on display, with touchscreen explanations of their benefits and installation details.
“You’ve got many more options now than just tank versus tankless,” said David Chisolm, director of marketing, who has been traveling with the tour.
Contractors at the stops have liked being able to see the heaters in person, and sales have been positive along the way, he said.

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