VMI Introduces the First Wheelchair Accessible Honda Odyssey Minivan Conversion

PHOENIX, Ariz. November 07, 2006


VMI today announced it has begun sales of the first wheelchair accessible Honda Odyssey with the Northstar conversion. The company has completed all design, engineering and validation processes with 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 Honda Odyssey with the Northstar conversion.

The Honda Odyssey has earned many significant automotive awards, including the IntelliChoice "Best Overall Van Value of the Year" and "Best Overall Minivan of the Year." The VMI Northstar system is considered the highest-ranked lowered floor side-entry minivan conversion for both quality and reliability, and is time tested with more than 12 years in service. By taking the best-in-class minivan and modifying it with the finest conversion available, VMI is delivering the best of both worlds.

"Honda is a recognized leader in the automotive industry in quality, resale value, and ride and handling," stated Doug Eaton, President and CEO of VMI. "The Odyssey is the benchmark of product quality in the minivan segment and it strengthens our product lineup. We believe the accessibility of the Odyssey will achieve the level of performance that demanding Honda customers expect."

"The agreement between Honda and VMI extends the reach of Honda, making Honda derived vehicles more accessible to more customers than ever before," said John Watts, Honda product planning manager. "Honda is a mobility company at its core, and offering wheelchair accessibility is consistent with our philosophy."

The Honda Odyssey with the VMI Northstar conversion offers more interior room than any other wheelchair accessible premium minivan on the market allowing for maximum wheelchair maneuverability. The floor is lowered 11 inches to enhance driver line of sight and provide generous headroom.

Other standard features on the Honda Odyssey with the VMI Northstar conversion include a powered in-floor ramp with non-skid surface for unrestricted entry and exit. The PowerKneel™ System automatically and gently lowers the vehicle to decrease ramp incline and increase accessibility. The low 8 degree ramp angle provides an almost effortless entry into the minivan and the shorter ramp length allows for parking in tighter places.

VMI purchases the vehicles from Honda, and then modifies them on a new assembly line at its Phoenix based facility. The first Honda Odyssey Northstar conversion vans began shipping to Mobility Dealers nationwide on October 10th.

About VMI

Founded in 1987, VMI is a manufacturer and distributor of the most reliable, highest quality and most easily accessible transportation in the world. Their full line of products include domestic and import minivan conversions, full-size van conversions, platform lifts, scooter and wheelchair lifts and transfer seats. VMI's mobility products enable consumers to travel with comfort, convenience and peace of mind.

About Honda

Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. In addition, Honda is the world's preeminent engine-maker, with annual worldwide production of more than 21 million engines. Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda now employs more than 28,000 Americans in the design, manufacture and marketing of its products in America. Honda currently builds products in 14 manufacturing plants in North America, with three major R&D centers in the U.S.

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