Phoenix, AZ – August 2008 – VMI is beginning sales of the Honda Odyssey Summit with a fold-out wheelchair ramp. The company has completed all design, engineering and validation processes for the Honda Odyssey, which is their latest lowered-floor, side-entry minivan conversion. VMI has more than 150 authorized dealers who have been certified to sell and service the new Honda Odyssey Summit.
In October of 2006, VMI announced sales of the Honda Odyssey with the Northstar in-floor ramp. Over the past 22 months, they have sold over 2000 of these units to customers all around the world. The feedback from this premier wheelchair-ramp conversion has been overwhelmingly encouraging. Along with the enthusiastic response on the Northstar conversion, came numerous requests for them to build a fold-out wheelchair ramp for the Honda Odyssey.
“The agreement we entered with Honda back in 2006 was a great achievement not only for VMI but for the entire mobility industry,” stated Doug Eaton, president and CEO of VMI. “Before this time, the only premium wheelchair-accessible minivan on the market was the Toyota. By entering the Honda Odyssey with the VMI Northstar conversion into the marketplace, we opened up more options for people who need a wheelchair-accessible van.”
The Honda Odyssey with the VMI Summit wheelchair-ramp conversion offers the same space and wheelchair maneuverability as the Northstar in-floor conversion. The floor is lowered 11 inches to enhance driver line of sight and provide comfortable headroom.
There are several standard features included on the Honda Odyssey with the VMI Summit conversion that improve quality and ease of use. One such feature is a powered, fold-out wheelchair ramp with smooth and precise ramp operation. There are also perforations in the ramp for increased traction and to help keep the ramp surface clean. The PowerKneel™ system automatically and gently lowers the vehicle to decrease ramp incline and increase accessibility. In addition, there is a self-actuating, anti-rattle mechanism that prevents ramp movement and noise for a quieter ride.
VMI purchases the vehicles from Honda and then modifies them on the assembly line at its Phoenix-based facility. The first Honda Odyssey with the VMI Summit wheelchair-ramp conversion began shipping to mobility dealers nationwide on Aug. 15, 2008.