An East Yorkshire inventor is launching a new product that aims to plug the gap and prevent you from losing your change, keys and bank cards under your car seats.
John England came up with the ‘car seat gap filler’ at 5 am one morning after thinking of all the lost minutes he’d spent recovering items following a journey.
Inspired, he set about designing a simple device that consists of an inflatable tube connected to a hand pump.
“In my previous job, I averaged 40,000 miles on the road every year and often joked about someone inventing something to stop me dropping my phone, credit cards, money and food down the side of my seat,” explained John.
“Then one morning I woke up with an idea to do it myself and went straight into my office and sketched the first ever Cabung, before approaching a company to help shape my idea into something that could be manufactured.”
Cabung, as it is now branded, is easy to fit and remove and has been developed so that it can be personalized to match the look of the car interior.
He turned to the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) for support to make sure the product stood out while also being instructional.
MGP also helped him develop creative artwork and a point of sale unit that was used for the first time at The London Motor Show in May.
The landmark event proved extremely useful for the company, with significant opportunities discussed with a number of leading car manufacturers and an impromptu endorsement from Car SOS stars Tim Shaw and Fuzz Townshend.
John continued: “There was no strict brief, I just wanted something that would fit most cars, is easy to fit and remove and would be aesthetically pleasing.
“It would also improve driver safety as it would prevent motorists taking their eyes off the road whilst trying to locate the dropped items.
“It’s never easy bringing something new to market, so it was great to receive support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme’s James Smith, who identified where the challenges existed and brought in design specialist Lee Taylor to work with us on making the brand packaging stand out and also provide a couple of early-stage samples for presentations.
“I also received external advice on pricing, market share and routes to market, not to mention how we can reduce the manufacturing cost to provide even better value for money for consumers.”
Cabung, which is located at the Hull Microfirm Centre, is on course to sell over 1000 units this year and is looking at how it can ramp up orders in the long-term.
The company has already received the backing of former racing driver Tiff Needell and model Jodie Kidd and is hoping this support will help it attract longer-term deals with car dealerships, national retail chains (Halfords, Argus, Sainsbury’s for example), petrol stations and e-commerce retail websites.
“This is a great example of how an issue that has plagued thousands of motorists can be solved with good design and innovation,” explained James Smith, manufacturing growth manager at MGP.
“John England used his own personal experience to come up with Cabung and, thanks to lots of external advice and specialist design support, has come up with a product that is about to take off.
“Sales are starting to pick up and the entrepreneur has ambitious plans to offer personalization and customization of the product and we will be working with him to look at ways in which he can secure capital equipment funding to make this happen.”
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