Phoenix, AZ – August 2008 – Vantage Mobility International (VMI) has announced it has begun sales of the wheelchair accessible 2008 Chrysler and Dodge minivan. VMI has passed all state and federal requirements for safety and emissions and has been producing on a limited basis this summer and will ramp up through the summer and fall. VMI has been modifying the Chrysler/Dodge line of minivans since 1987 and it has been the mainstay of their product line.
The new Chrysler/Dodge with the VMI Northstar conversion has many advantages. This side-entry wheelchair accessible minivan incorporates an 11” lowered floor increasing head room with limited determination in ground clearance. It has tremendously improved the door opening height to 55 ½ inches, an increase of over 2” from the 2007 Chrysler/Dodge conversion. Recent market research indicates that 40% of our customers in chair height exceeds 53”. Another increase is the lowered floor area has 250 more square inches, improving wheelchair maneuverability.
“During my 16 year career with VMI, we have designed and commercialized dozens of new platform designs,” said Doug Eaton, President and CEO of VMI. “The design emphasis on this conversion was ease of entry and spaciousness, drafting from the success of the roomy Honda Odyssey with the VMI conversion. Chairs are getting taller. People are getting bigger. These are the facts. Our marketing and engineering team did a fine job setting up VMI to continue capturing the 60% of the market who requires something critical to achieving a robust lifestyle…space.”
Other standard features on the Chrysler/Dodge with the VMI Northstar conversion include a powered in-floor ramp that has a smooth and precise operation. The PowerKneel™ system automatically and gently lowers the vehicle to decrease ramp incline and increase accessibility which is just under 8°. The SURE DEPLOY™ electrical ramp back up system is also standard equipment.
VMI is currently producing 2008 models and will produce 2009 models when they are available from Dodge/Chrysler. VMI accepts new and used chassis from mobility equipment dealers for conversion. The first 2008 Chrysler/Dodge with the VMI Northstar conversions began shipping with limited availability to mobility dealers nationwide on August 1st, 2008.