Saturday, January 31, 2004

Invacare buys motors elsewhere
ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare has ceased sourcing gearless brushless motors for its custom rehab power wheelchairs from Unique Mobility, based in Frederick, Colo., and has launched a new initiative with another, undisclosed partner to make the product.

Loss of the Invacare contract caused Unique’s share price to slump by 18% in mid-December after Unique revealed the news in its 8-K filing with the SEC. Invacare spent $4.1 million with Unique in the last fiscal year.

Invacare had been using Unique’s gearless brushless motors, lauded for their quieter performance and durability, on its Storm wheelchair line. But as the company ramps up production of its TDX power wheelchair line, the Unique product was abandoned.

“We are moving forward very aggressively with the gearless brushless,” said Lou Slangen, Invacare’s senior vice president of marketing. “We used to always refer to it as gearless brushless, but now we’ve combined that with electronics to create the TrueTrack.”