Electric Mobility tells providers: We're back

Thursday, January 6, 2011

SEWELL, N.J. - Electric Mobility, which pulled the plug on its dealer division nine years ago to focus on the more lucrative direct-to-consumer market, is once again courting HME providers.

Earlier this year, the company created Rascal Mobility, a line of scooters to be sold only through provider locations, and then at Medtrade in November, it announced to the HME industry, "Hey, we are here," said Russ Rolt, Rascal Mobility's director of dealer sales and training for North America.

So why, after nine years, reach out again to providers?

"We all learn as we go along," Rolt said. "We learned that this part of the market is not only viable to us but central. We saw that it was an opportunity to get our technology to the masses."

What's more, when Electric Mobility pulled the plug on its dealer division in 2002, most providers considered retail a "dirty word." With reimbursement tightening, that's no longer the case, Rolt said.

"You have to have a retail presence or you are in big trouble, and what better way to establish a retail presence than to work with (a company) that has had a successful retail presence for 30 years?" he said.

Because some providers "are not fans" of Electric Mobility's direct-to-consumer model, Rascal Mobility's scooters are unique and sold only through dealers, Rolt said. Rascal's three-wheel scooters (travel size, mid-size and high speed) are less expensive than Electric Mobility's and competitively priced with similar products on the market. They also come with patent-pending "magnetic stabilizer technology"--an outrigger wheel that offers the "stability and safety of a four-wheel scooter with the maneuverability of three," Rolt said.

Rascal Mobility also offers the new We Go, a motorized patient transport chair that Rolt's very high on.

"It's a no-brainer," he said. "But it's a high-touch item. People have to see it to believe it, which is why dealers need to have it."