Page 8 - Mobility Management, February 2019
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Accessibility Special
Q&A with
CEO Mark Shaughnessy on VMI’s latest acquisition and keeping up with the demands of accessible vehicle purchasers
Mark Shaughnessy
Q: In December, Vantage Mobility International (VMI) announced it had purchased Revability, a division of the REV Group that sells accessible vehicles. What made VMI decide to pursue an acquisition?
Acquiring Revability aligns with VMI’s vision to continue supporting our dealer network and providing solutions for our customers at the retail level. It brings a good number of products that will make great additions to our expanding portfolio of products for our dealers and their customers.
Q: What excites you about Revability vehicles, and how do they fit into VMI’s existing lineup?
The Revability product line is very complementary to the existing VMI product line.
Their rear-entry and commercial vehicles are very exciting because they come with great quality and proven performance in the marketplace.
The Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vehicle also fills a need for consumers in regions where alternative fuel is a high priority.
Q: The announcement said the acquisition will provide more choices for VMI’s customers. What are the main qualities or functions that today’s accessible vehicle consumer wants or looks for?
Mobility consumers have very diverse needs. One size truly does not fit all for our customers, and offering a greater number of options to our customers will benefit them.
For years, mobility consumers have had to settle for what was available. Our priority is helping consumers find the perfect vehicle that meets their needs — whether it be function, personal style or even environmental needs.
Q: Accessible vehicle buyers have an increasing variety of choices when making a purchase.
Are today’s consumers more demanding than previous generations of customers?
I don’t know if they are more demanding or not, but I do know that consumers today have access to much more information, and they are as a result much more informed shoppers, which is great.
Our customers should not have to demand any less than other consumers who are looking for the right product to meet their needs. At VMI, the voice of the customer is very important, and we aim to design and manufacture products based on consumer requirements.
Q: Do customers have greater expectations of the vehicles they purchase?
Expectations may not necessarily be greater, but perhaps they are more diverse. The reality of our customer base is that many have unique needs. Diverse expectations keep manufacturers like VMI on its toes and challenge us to continuously innovate so that we may offer products that are best suited to meet customers’ unique needs.
Q: How do you ensure that you’re able to offer customers what they most want in their accessible vehicles?
Obtaining feedback from our customers — whether it’s through our mobility dealers, through our field sales team or directly from the consumer — is part of our ongoing practice at VMI. Our marketing team also invests signifi- cant time and resources to meet our customers in person to present information about our products, to solicit their feedback and then channel consumer feedback to our design, engineering and production teams. m

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