VMI picks up pace

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Friday, February 22, 2019

PHOENIX – The last quarter of 2018 was a big one for Vantage Mobility International (VMI), the manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles. The company named a new president and CEO, Mark Shaughnessy, in September, and acquired Revability, another manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles for commercial and personal use, in December. Here’s what Shaughnessy and Charlie Treadwell, vice president of marketing, had to say about the company’s growth trajectory and its new leadership.

HME News: How does Revability diversify VMI’s product line?

Mark Shaughnessy: Revability brings a solid product line of rear-entry products to complement VMI’s portfolio of side-entry vehicles. We are especially excited about the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid model.

HME: Revability has a manufacturing facility in Clarkston, Mich., that you will continue to operate?

Shaughnessy: The manufacturing facility in Clarkston will continue to operate and manufacture the products in its area of expertise. We’re excited about the fact that we now have expanded capacity and distribution capability to more effectively serve consumers through our dealer network.

HME: What market trends does VMI see for 2019?

Shaughnessy: We see increased demand for low-cost options to meet the needs of a new consumer—hybrid or electric options—and increased growth in the commercial market with greater legislative requirements for providing accessible options for taxi, ride-share and public transportation.

HME: The commercial market is a bit outside of our scope, but I’m curious how much of VMI’s sales are commercial vs. retail?

Shaughnessy: VMI has had the desire to grow the business in the commercial sector, but our primary focus has always been to meet the needs of our retail consumers through our dealers. Now, with our expanded portfolio and customer base, we have the opportunity to accelerate our growth in the commercial market.

HME: I know Mark, who has held leadership positions at Mars, Inc. and Coca-Cola Co., has only been on board for a few months, but how is he influencing the trajectory of the company?

Charlie Treadwell: VMI has been in the mobility industry for more than 30 years. While the organization has successfully provided quality products to meet the needs of consumers for many years, Mark brings customer-centric experience and views that are critical for our continued success. Innovation has been the pinnacle to VMI’s longevity, and Mark can lead the organization on this path at an even greater pace.