Revisiting my VMI visit
I recently shared some thoughts on Vantage Mobility International (VMI). Looking back, I buried the lede. And I might have implied that all the automotive things we do are vanity—superficial, greedy, unimportant. That’s not what I wanted to say.
What I wanted to say was:
We use our skills to make our own lives better. As we should. That’s what TGP is all about, after all—but our skills can make an even bigger difference in the lives of others.
We should work on that, too.
We can fix our own machines.
We can make them better. We can turn commuter cars into giant slayers and build SUVs that make the shortcut over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house (by way of the boulder field) a fun, Sunday drive.
We can fix the world.
The point I wanted to make—but didn’t—is that we can use our automotive skills and connections to make our lives better. That’s a good thing, but there are big, hairy problems relatively nobody is working to solve where we can make a bigger difference by making OTHER people’s lives better.
Toyota sold 170,000 new cars last month (September 2019). The entire wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) industry turns out 30,000 vehicles for an estimated 4 million people needing them per year.
I bet it’s awesome working for Toyota—but how much of an impact do you have in a global organization selling millions of cars per year compared to a smaller company where you know nearly every customer by name—and how what you built changed their life?
See what I mean?
Seeing so many people at VMI organized around serving their community inspired the shit outta me. They aren’t just installing ramps in minivans. They’re delivering automotive freedom on a level most of us will never understand because we can just get in any car and go.
We take it for granted.
TGP is a place for gearheads building meaningful connections between what they do for a living and what makes them feel alive. Does it get any better than doing something car-related for a living that changes someone’s life for the better?
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