Segway's Brilliant New Strategy? Leasing!

from the that-all-you-got? dept

Yesterday, people were talking about how the latest in a long line of CEOs for Segway is desperately looking for a "liquidity event" of some sort. Of course, for that to happen, it would help if more people were, you know, actually buying the damn balancing scooters. Apparently, someone among the Segway braintrust realized that it's a pretty tough sell when the vehicles cost about $5,000. So, their latest strategy? Leasing! Yes, it only took the company about five years to recognize that financing might make sense for pricey vehicles. Of course, among their long line of chief executives, there once was a former President of Subaru America who had planned to set up a dealer network similar to the auto industry. You would have thought the idea of dealer financing might have occurred back then as well.

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  1. identicon
    eeyore, 1 Jun 2006 @ 4:44am


    The whole concept of the Segway reminds me of Arcosanti, the "arcology" that Paolo Soleri built in the Arizona desert. I first heard about it when I was a kid like 35 years ago (OK I'm in my 40s now) and so when I actually saw it last year I was astonished at how little they had accomplished in that length of time and how crappy what they had really was. The Segway was touted as THE transportation for the 21st century. However they are at best a niche market item, and that is where they fail to understand the market. I have to commute 25 miles each way to work because my job site is on a large military installation and I have to cross a major highway to do that. I also frequently have to attend meetings and activities at other buildings that are widely dispersed. A Segway just isn't practical for me. However we do actually have several of them at our facility. The support personnel use them to go between buildings, where a walk of a half-mile or more isn't unusual. College campuses and industrial parks where buildings are within a short but inconvenient to walk distances are what the Segway is ideal for. Driving in rush hour traffic? Hardly. The Segway is the product of utopian thinking and until they think of how to actually use it in the real world it will remain essentially a high-tech toy.

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