Political hype and approval didn’t assure the future in Norway of the self-balancing battery-powered vehicles known as Segways. Two years after Norway’s then-new conservative coalition government allowed them, Segway sales have flopped, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).
The Segways had been a campaign issue for the Progress Party, which prides itself on deregulation. DN reported last week, though, that the company importing Segways to Norway, Segnor, has seen sales slump.
“We had a good start in 2014 when sales of Segway were allowed,” Segnor chairman Rene Jacobsen told DN. “Afterwards we’ve had a correction of the volume.” After logging revenues of NOK 10.2 million in 2014, they fell to NOK 3.6 million last year, and the company logged losses in both 2014 and 2015.
Jacobsen blames price (more than NOK 50,000, or around USD 6,000) and the weaker krone. Segway was bought by a Chinese company last year that Jacobsen thinks now may come with new and more reasonable products.
“It’s not a toy for everyone,” conceded Bård Hoksrud of the Progress Party, who had championed their sale in Norway two years ago. “We are aware that Segway didn’t become any great sales success, but we always like to try something new.”