By Brett Gerrish, Michigan Manufacturers Association 
MiMfg Magazine, March 2015 

Michigan manufacturers are known for the love they have for their craft. They create new products to improve a person's quality of life. Some make a better car or a healthier type of food but it's a special manufacturer that is able to replace some part of a person's life that was taken away.

 

Al Thieme, chairman and founder of Amigo Mobility, and the rest of his team have a special connection with their customers -- their product quite literally reconnects a person with the outside world.

 

"It's important to love what you do and who you do it for," said Thieme. "At Amigo Mobility, we never take what we do for granted." 

 

The small Bridgeport-based manufacturer of power-operated vehicles/mobility scooters began in 1968 when a family member of Al's suffered an illness that took away her ability to get around. Determined to provide her a better quality of life, he sketched his first Amigo and enlisted the help of an electrical engineer. 

 

"It changes people's lives for the better," said Thieme. "A person suffers quite a hit when they begin to lose their ability to walk and go out in the community. It's something special to be able to bring a positive change to a person's daily experience." 

 

As he discovered, more and more people in his community had similar mobility issues. He closed his plumbing and heating business, rolled up his sleeves and got to work in a small garage manufacturing the products now known as Amigos. 

 

"When you're stuck on the sidelines watching the world go by, it can become depressing," said Thieme. "It's all about finding a better way -- solving a problem. We don't do this for the money; it's a service to help someone enjoy their life in whatever way they can." 

 

The simple design and easy repair allow anyone with mobility limitations to still enjoy getting around. "We aren't selling a product and then that is it," said Thieme. "We are blessed to have these continuous, growing relationships with people who depend on our product. That experience radiates with our employees and to their families. At the end of the day, this began out of the need to help family and that says everything about who we are at Amigo Mobility."

 

Commitment to family and service to the customer are the company's primary focus. Find a better way. This is the mantra they live by as they customize a solution to the unique needs of the client. 

 

"I'm always looking for ways to improve -- we like to say we're constantly reinventing our products, our company and ourselves," said Thieme. "I've been doing this for nearly 50 years and it's still the greatest feeling to know that I've helped someone in some small way maintain their dignity." 

News Flash

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Friendly Wheels, Issue 123

August 2018

 

Amigo owners often share inspiring stories. From overcoming a mobility challenge to figuring out innovative ways to go to new places to helping people in their communities, the experiences they share never cease to amaze us.

In this edition of Friendly Wheels, we get to meet Shannon DeWall, JD, an attorney, wife, mother and community volunteer in metro Detroit. Learn more about her story below.

A Family's Story of Reclaiming Hope

A Family's Story of Reclaiming Hope

Friendly Wheels, Issue 122

July 2018

In a time of crisis, it may be reassuring to know that there is another family that's experienced a similar situation: the Shepherds. James Shepherd and his mother founded the Shepherd Center, a not-for-profit hospital located in Atlanta, Georgia specializing spinal cord injury rehabilitation, in 1975 in response to an accident James endured as a young man. Learn more about his family's inspiring story.

This Amigo Owner Adds a Little Magic

This Amigo Owner Adds a Little Magic

Friendly Wheels, Issue 121

June 2018

Carrie Rostollan, a longtime member of the Amigo family, recently visited our Bridgeport facility for the Amigo Mobility Center open house. She shared with us some of her upcoming summer plans and entertained us with her magic tricks! Discover more about Carrie's 'magical' adventures.

Amigo Mobility Blog

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