Off-Road Mobility Vehicle OEM Eyes Financing Boost in 2019

TerrainHopper USA expects financing volume of its off-road mobility vehicle built exclusively for consumers with mobility impairment to pick up in the coming months, Chief Executive Todd Lemay told Powersports Finance.

Available in the U.K. since 2011, TerrainHopper debuted in the U.S. last year. It inked a financing partnership with American 1 Credit Union about three months ago, and so far 10% of customers have financed the vehicle.

“Over the course of the last year, we had hundreds and hundreds of people contact us and say, ‘Do you guys offer financing?'” Lemay said. “And it’s always been, ‘No, we’re working on it.’ Well, now that we have the financing, we’re reaching out to some of those people and letting them know that financing is now available. Some of them are now going through that process. We think that over the course of the next maybe two to four months, especially after the holidays are over, we’ll see an influx of orders that are being financed.”

In seeking a lending partner, TerrainHopper USA searched for a company that would know the vehicle inside and out so that the customers wouldn’t have to continually explain it to them, Lemay said. Though initial outreach to multiple banks and finance organizations didn’t pan out, the OEM found that Jackson, Mich.-based American 1 CU had a willingness to listen to TerrainHopper’s story, which led to the partnership, he added.

Designed to allow consumers with mobility issues to enjoy the same outdoor recreation as their friends and family, the TerrainHopper can travel across terrains that an ordinary wheelchair would find difficult, such as the beach or a rocky hiking trail. The starting retail price for the TerrainHopper is $18,000 but it includes multiple add-ons such as joystick steering and maximum battery strength that can increase the price to $25,000.

Currently, the wait time for a TerrainHopper is 60 days. It can only be ordered via the company’s website, though TerrainHopper is seeking dealerships — which have to be classified as durable medical equipment dealers — to sell the vehicle.

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