What are the up’s and down’s Segway has faced since their launch?

February 1, 2013

The two wheel revolution as it was being called after its release in 2002 specifically in the short distance travel market. But despite all the massive pre-release, nationwide release, celebrity endorsements etc. it still failed to meet its sales targets. The tech Guru and the inventor of the machine Dean Kamen predicted that this invention will do to the cars something of the same proportion as what cars did to horses and buggies. But the numbers show that this is so clearly not even close to affecting the car sales in anyway. With the recent turn of events and ever rising cost of Gasoline and increasing prices, this is about to change.

The initial target set by the company was to sell 40,000 units of the device each year. They have only been able to achieve 23,000 at the end of their 4th year (2006). Segway claim that there are around 80,000 units being used worldwide, but that account to many of them being in possession of Governments and Security companies using the product for patrolling, security strolls and checks around short distances. The battery powered Segway which starts from around £4800 including VAT, can reach the maximum speeds of 12.5 miles per hour and can travel 18 miles in one single charge before you stick it in the mains again. Extras like Tail-light, lock kit and a bag are also available for customers but come with an extra charge.

Employees like Wayne Mitchell, Segway Manager UK, still stay optimistic but blame the country laws for hindering the progressive growth. Many countries don’t classify Segway scooter as a drivable vehicle on Roads including UK despite having more than 2000 users in the country. As Wayne Mitchell states that sales are going up every year as compared to the last, and also showed his optimism to the laws against Segway being changed due to its growing success. There are few countries that have legalized its use on roads like Netherlands, but even in countries like UK where Segway use is not allowed on the roads, people do use them. Yet there is still no incident of someone being held by the police for that reason. The spokesman for the Department of Transport UK has officially stated that the machine does not qualify the minimum safety standards of the road vehicles. Hence the laws prohibit its use. There are some places where traffic laws can’t reach so they are allowed to be used on private properties like shopping malls and airports, which is certainly helpful for the cause.