The FCA US LLC Driveability Program is built for the greater good.
Over 53 million Americans are affected by a disability that can make driving a challenge. Likewise, people caring for those individuals who cannot drive themselves need the type of vehicle that allows them to provide comfortable and modular transportation. It all makes for a large segment of people with unique needs just waiting to be fulfilled.
FCA US LLC was the first brand to enter the mobility marketplace in 1987, when they launched the first iteration of the minivan, the Dodge Caravan. The public subsequently recognized the utilitarian nature of such a unique vehicle — things like sliding doors for easy access were much more helpful for people with disabilities, for instance. The company, in turn, realized how easy it would be to customize other vehicles in their lineups with upfits and adaptable equipment suited for better accessibility.
Over two decades later, FCA US (and their partners) have become trusted names in the market, creating vehicles across all FCA US brands that lend themselves nicely to the upfits, accessories and adaptive equipment built to allow for easier access, entry and utility for those with disabilities. Allowing all audiences to experience life to the fullest, without being sidled with a vehicle that can’t give them the freedom — or, individuality — they deserve.
Whether it was a foot pedal, a special ramp or a lift, the Automobility program was focused on finding the right adaptive equipment for every situation, and built to discover how those accommodations would fit with their existing models. The program offered assistance of up to $1,000 in reimbursement for customers on top of other incentives. To date, the program has processed over 37,000 customer assistance claims to the tune of over $33 million dollars. Some vehicles in the FCA US family were even re-imagined to allow for special products the audience was looking for.
More recently, the company has come to realize that those with a need for adaptive equipment on their vehicle also want options in terms of what they drive. While the minivan seems like a logical choice because of its natural utilitarian nature, not everyone believes a minivan suits their lifestyle. Today, all FCA US vehicles can be adapted to meet the desires of many people seeking a vehicle that represents their lifestyle while meeting their physical needs. The Automobility program, by its very name, had become synonymous with the category.
As part of the newly evolved program, FCA US changed the program name to Driveability and created a more positive, forward-leaning logo that better represents the attitude of the brand. Then, they also enlisted the help of some unique individuals who personify what it means to live forward. From a former Paralympian swimmer who now is a ballroom dancer, to a war veteran who shows no signs of laying low, to a daredevil who pushes his body and wheelchair to the max, the Driveability Program is now well-represented by ambassadors who truly live the brand.
“The human part of this program can’t be lost in the engineering or the marketing,” said Amy Baker, FCA US Fleet Marketing Manager. “We knew that to be effective and authentic, we had to be real and truly represent those who are overcoming their obstacles with a positive outlook. Their stories are amazing and inspiring and that’s how we see the future of this program.”
Partnering with automotive aftermarket businesses that specialize in adaptable equipment was also imperative in making the program work. The FCA US Driveability Program depends on the companies that have built their reputations on engineering and building solutions for this unique audience. We share the responsibility of ensuring our parts work in conjunction with the upfits like ramps and lifts that are added to the vehicles to make them even more accessible.
The FCA US Driveability Program is showing no signs of slowing down. There’s been a significant uptick in the number of vehicles purchased and reimbursed claims for those with disabilities since its inception and, as the number of people needing extra assistance increases, so will a need for vehicles that suit their lifestyles. In the meantime, the company is just happy to be able to provide the assist.
Learn more about the program and these amazing people at fcausdriveability.com.