Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Perhaps the title may seem a bit dramatic to some, but for us here at BraunAbility, it is the honest truth. This October, BraunAbility is scheduled to manufacture the last vehicle in the Paratransit line of vehicles. After building the vehicle for 38 years, it is sad to see it go. Farewell Tour Paratransit

7.23-2-300x200On Wednesday, July 23, BraunAbility celebrated the historic life of the vehicle line with a ceremony and ice cream social for all employees. Several speakers recalled their fond memories working on the vehicle line, with speakers ranging from BraunAbility President, Nick Gutwein, to workers from the line that builds the vehicle, to Kim Angel with Macon County Transit of North Carolina, the recipients of the last van to be manufactured. After the ceremony ended, ice cream was had by all.

“Ralph began by putting lifts on full-size vans like these,” said Nick Gutwein, BraunAbility President. “This really is the Braun Corporation.”

The Paratransit van is special to the State of North Carolina. BraunAbility has had a long-standing deal with the State of North Carolina, and has sold them more Paratransit vehicles than any other customer. With 25,000 Paratransit vehicles made, over 3,000 of them went to North Carolina alone. For this reason, there will be a similar celebration in North Carolina at a future date.BA Execs with Paratransit

7.23-7-300x200The Ford Motor Company has made the decision to stop producing the Ford Econoline van, which served as the base chassis for the Paratransit vehicle. With no more supply of vehicles, BraunAbility had no choice but to stop production.

The end of the vehicle line does not mean BraunAbility will be letting anyone go. The Plant 6 employees who used to work on the Paratransit line will be absorbed into other departments, such as vehicle inspection for our new Certified Pre-Owned program.

So thank you to everyone in and out of the BraunAbility family for making this vehicle a success, and for helping us honor its historic legacy!