The two millionth vehicle produced by Club Car is one company founders never would have imagined when they began producing golf cars 52 years ago. In fact, the low-speed passenger vehicle that came off the production line last week in a ceremony marking the manufacturing milestone wasn’t even made until last year.
Golf cars and utility vehicles dominated production at Club Car during its first half century. But the vehicle chosen to symbolise the manufacturing milestone, which fell on Earth Day 2010, was a Villager LSV (Low Speed Vehicle), an eco-friendly zero-emission vehicle that incorporates a number of features as defined by regulations in the US that enable LSVs to be driven on specified public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.
LSVs are the fastest-growing segment in the light transportation vehicle market. They’re especially popular for short commutes, shopping, transportation and deliveries in campus-style environments, including hospitals, clinics, schools and universities.
“One of the hallmarks of Club Car over the years has been innovation and the ability to produce vehicles that meet – and sometimes even anticipate the needs – of our customers,” said Gary Michel, president and CEO of Club Car. “Zero-emission low-speed vehicles, which reduce the dependence on oil and provide an environmentally friendly mode of travel, are an example of that ongoing commitment.”
Michel credited Club Car employees as the “champions” responsible for producing a million vehicles in record time. “We have a great team of people who come to work with one thing on their mind every day: How do we improve on yesterday?” Michel said.
The ceremony was attended by Club Car associates, executives from parent company Ingersoll Rand and a number of local political and civic leaders. Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver read a proclamation that declared April 22, 2010 “Club Car Day in Augusta.”
The event coincided with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the global celebration of environmental awareness. In recognition of its commitment to sustainability, Ingersoll Rand on Thursday launched its Centre for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES). The centre will focus on identifying and implementing best practices for the long-term use of energy and other resources for customers and communities.
Speaking at the Club Car ceremony, Jim Bolch, president of Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Technologies Sector, said the CEES will partner with non-government organisations and universities, as well as technology and industry leaders to fund research, support scholarships and host seminars on the subject of environmental sustainability. “Maybe most importantly, we’ll engage and educate our own employees about ways to bring green solutions to market and to make our own organisation and the communities we serve greener,” Bolch added.
Club Car’s two millionth vehicle was produced nine years and one month after Club Car reached the one million milestone. “Our business continues to evolve as our customers’ needs and the types of customers we serve continue to evolve,” Michel said. “It’s hard to predict the vehicle that may symbolise the three millionth Club Car, but I’m sure it will be one that is right for the times.”
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