Another Year, Another President For Segway

from the keep-rolling-off-into-the-sunset dept

Segway, the massively overhyped balancing scooter company, can’t seem to keep chief executives. Last year we wrote about how they had already shuffled through a couple of presidents, and now comes the news that they’ve hired yet another new president and CEO, replacing the last one. This one comes from the snowmobile world, so maybe he’s got better ideas for how to market such a niche vehicle. One of the previous presidents had come from Subaru and tried to sell the Segway like a car – which clearly didn’t work out so well. Clearly, the company is having a very difficult time living up to the hype it generated early on.

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Comments on “Another Year, Another President For Segway”

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eeyore says:

segway users

We have two Segways in our facility and they are used by people who have to travel from one building to another where the distances involved can be as much as half a mile. The network support people use them quite a bit.

This is exactly the niche that the Segway fills: it saves people time and energy walking between buidlings. Unfortunately it can’t carry any cargo and with a top speed of what, about 12 miles an hour it’s slower than a bicycle. Segway needs to focus on that niche market and give up on trying to get joe consumer to buy one. You can still buy used cars for less.

Doug says:

Re: segway users

it saves people time and energy walking between buidlings. Unfortunately it can’t carry any cargo and with a top speed of what, about 12 miles an hour it’s slower than a bicycle. Segway needs to focus on that niche market

The niche would seem to be rather small. Walking is an obvious alternative. You already mentioned bicycles. If you don’t want to rely on muscle-power, you can get an electric-powered bicycle.

Ordinary motorized scooters would be at least as effective as the Segway in most applications, and a lot cheaper. Although most I’ve seen are gas-powered and thus much noisier, you can get an electric one that carries a seated rider at up to 12 mph for under $200, or for $700 you can get a nicer one that can hit 25 mph.

At the high end, for about the same cost as a Segway you can buy a golf cart:

they typically sell for $5,000 or $6,000. A basic model, like the E-Z Go Freedom SE, has 2 seats, space for golf bags in the back, and a 36-volt electric motor that takes it up to about 15 miles an hour.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

motorized scooters

I’ve seen motorized scooters advertised for under $200. They have seats, which would seem to make them much more comfortable, because you can sit down instead of standing, and probably safer, because your center of gravity is closer to the ground. I can’t imagine why anyone would pay thousands of dollars for a Segway.

eeyore says:

Re: motorized scooters

The Segway is gyroscopically balanced and virtually impossible to tip over. And they are quiet enough to be ridden indoors. And they can be ridden at extremely slow speeds when maneuvering around obstacles. I’m not defending the silly things but pointing out that they can fill a very small niche in the transportation marktet. But they will never live up to the hype bestowed upon them when they were first introduced. Basically Segway is hoping that the government will step in and buy huge quantities of them for postal workers etc… and make the venture profitable to some degree.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: motorized scooters

I’m with the guy who suggested that golf carts are a far better way to get between buildings, if possible. Carry more things and people, no standing up, and they should be cheaper, too.

And, really, given the weight problems in America and the fact that none of us computer geeks get enough exercise, it’s probably not a bad thing to make them walk. Heck, it could be re-labelled as a “health benefit”.

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