“In the course of its first decade, the Segway PT has become a staple in the field of security and law enforcement, which is regarded as an effective and efficient personal vehicle,” said Judy Cai, the Segway president, in a press release, noting that, in the last decade, it has gained popularity with leisure travelers in major cities in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.
But the Segway, which carries a permanent passenger on a large platform, accounted for less than 1.5% of the revenues of the company last year. The company said that 21 employees will be laid off, the other 12 employees to stay two months a year, and five will remain in Bedford, New Hampshire, facility.
The transport revolution that the inventor, Dean Kamen envisioned when he founded the company in 1999, never took off. The Segway is original price tag of about $5,000 has been a barrier for many customers. It was also difficult to mount because the rider had to be balanced at a specific angle for the vehicle to move forward. If the rider’s weight shifted a little too much in any direction, it could easily spin out of control, and throw the rider off. They have been banned in some cities, because the users can easily lose control if they were not balanced correctly.
“What does that they think that the market has been when they built it, when they were designed?“ asks Maryann Keller, the director of the Maryann Keller & Associates. “I have the impression that they were talking about the personal mobility. How can you think that something big and expensive would be to personal mobility?”
Ten months after the purchase of the company in 2009, British millionaire Jim Heselden, died after the Segway he was riding careened off a 30-foot cliff, not far from his country estate north of London. He was 62 years old.
In 2003, George w. Bush has avoided injury after a fall off a Segway at his parents ‘ summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
A cameraman riding a Segway ran Usain Bolt in 2015, the Jamaican sprinter has done a lap of honour after winning the 200 metres race in Beijing. Bolt was not injured and later joked about the incident.
In 2017, the Segway got into the scooter business, just as light, inexpensive and easy-to-ride two-wheels has taken to the streets of the city. Segway made a foray in the industry may have been a sign that his original CP’s days were numbered.
“It was probably too much hype before it was launched, and when it was launched, it was like, this is not going to work on the sidewalks,” Keller said.