Quadski? Think James Bond
Autonomous cars are all the talk these days. But what about cars and trucks that float on water and can race at high speeds on land and sea?
Gibbs Sports Amphibians in Auburn Hills, Mich., may be the master of the land-water vehicle. The company's unique product line got some international attention this week when it was featured Monday on “Top Gear,” a British TV show with 340 million viewers.
In the episode that aired on BBC America, the Quadski, a quad bike that reaches speeds of 45 mph on land and water, races a sporty Alfa Romeo 4C along Lake Como in Italy. “It should get the name out there in a big way,” said Graham Jenkins, sales and marketing manager for Gibbs Sports Amphibians.
Amphibious vehicles that can travel on land or sea date back to carriages in the 1700s, and history is dotted with creations such as alligator tugs logging companies used to cross rivers in the 1870s and assorted military vehicles over the years. Hovercrafts are one form of amphibious vehicles that travel on an air cushion. More conventional amphibious vehicles often use tracks instead of wheels.
And there are boats that can drive at ramp speeds to launch themselves, but Gibbs sets itself apart by achieving real speed no matter what the surface and can switch from one mode to the other in less than three seconds. “We're the world's only real manufacturer of amphibious vehicles that reach higher speeds than 5 mph,” Jenkins said.
It is James Bond kind of stuff. In fact, Gibbs was approached about appearing in a film with 007 but the company turned down the offer. “We would have had to pay a huge amount, and we were not interested,” Jenkins said.
Gibbs Amphibians is growing its leadership with a series of moves designed to corner the assorted markets for these unique vehicles. Subsidiary Gibbs Sports Amphibians ramped up its sales projections and capacity in Auburn Hills for the Quadski.
The goal is to sell 1,500 Quadskis this year and double the number of retail outlets that carry the $42,000 quad bike.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crazy Mocha owner likes comfort, says shrewd decisions foster growth
- Atlantic City on hot streak with non-gambling ventures
- Crude oil tumble signals low gasoline prices this fall
- Investors shy from Israeli drugmaker Teva amid uncertain Mylan takeover
- Farm use of drones to take off as feds loosen restrictions
- No more ‘roar’ as famed trading pits come to an end
- Floating homes offer ‘affordable’ option in San Francisco area
- New J.C. Penney CEO comes from middle-income America
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- After years of downsizing, big houses make comeback
- Halliburton to close Indiana County office