Monday, July 28, 2008

Who's laughing at the Segway NOW?

(Itsi Atkins, an instructor and advocate for the Segway, discusses the
increasing popularity of the two-wheeled motorized personal vehicle. He
also takes Paul Lin for a spin.)

Back in December of 2001 when she was introduced, "Ginger" the mysterious 2-wheeled electric chariot, was deemed to be "much ado about nothing", with all of inventor Dean Kamen's talk about "revolutionizing urban life". Well that was back when gas barely even reached the $1.70/gal mark. Today, with gas prices more twice as high, people are singing quite a different song about the Segway.

Here's what The Wall Street Journal is saying about the changes Segway is seeing:
Sales at the scooter's maker, Segway Inc., have risen to an all-time high, says CEO Jim Norrod. The closely held Manchester, N.H., company doesn't release detailed numbers. (A September 2006 recall showed the company had sold 23,500 Segways.) But Mr. Norrod says he expects sales this quarter to jump 50% from a year earlier, versus a 25% year-over-year increase in the first quarter.
All-time high, eh? We're looking at $5,000 for a scooter that get's 25 miles per charge and goes 12.5 mph? That's quite a chunk... but man, what a conversation piece... maybe better than walking around with a puppy or a baby! But I doubt it would attract as much attention as a baby holding a puppy, though at that point $5,000 is actually looking pretty inexpensive.

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