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A vehicle designed from the ground up for people with disabilities is back on the market.
AM General has agreed to purchase VPG Autos the maker of the MV-1. The what? By who? Allow us to explain.
The MV-1 marks a new milestone in auto manufacturing – it’s the first vehicle that’s factory ready for wheelchair-bound owners. Built at the AM General assembly plant (it used to produce the Hummer H2), the MV-1 is called the “first mobility vehicle” by Florida-based Vehicle Production Group, the company that makes it, and it plans to sell about 10,000 units next year.
Although there have been vehicles for people in wheelchairs, they were aftermarket conversion kits and were so expensive, they remained out of reach for many. But the MV-1 has a starting price of $40,000 – a similar converted vehicle can cost anywhere from $60,000.
With a Roush-created platform, the MV-1 is powered by Ford Motor Co.’s bulletproof 4.6-liter V-8 engine and comes with 190 cubic feet of interior space in a body-on-frame platform. Able to seat six, the MV-1 makes it easy to enter the vehicle, as it offers a low floor and 36-inch-wide doors, while its ramp can take up to 1,200 pounds. And even better, if you’re in a wheelchair, you can sit up front, instead of sitting in the back.
“This is the first factory-built vehicle that meets all of the American with Disabilities Act requirements,” said Dave Schembri, Vehicle Production Group’s CEO. “I feel like a proud parent today.”
[Source: The Detroit News]