Archive for August 1, 2011

Made in Indiana: Wheelchair Accessible Van Conversions

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Guest Blogger:
Joe Garnett, Braun Corporation

Wheelchair Accessible Conversion

Wheelchair Accessible Van Conversion

WINAMAC, IN.  – For nearly 40 years, Braun has worked to meet the mobility needs of the 4.3 million wheelchair users in the United States, including veterans, seniors, adults and children. Today, Braun announced the U.S. and Canadian market introduction of two new BraunAbility wheelchair conversion vans: the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country.

The foundation of Braun’s conversion is the 2011 model year vehicle update engineered by the Chrysler Corporation. For 2011, the Grand Caravan and Town & Country minivans were extensively redesigned to offer completely new, more upscale interiors, updated exterior styling, and a new V6 engine with enhanced performance and fuel economy. Horsepower increased substantially with highway fuel economy increasing slightly.

Braun offers the Dodge and Chrysler wheelchair van conversions with side-entry or rear-entry to address the wide variety of needs in the marketplace. The most popular conversion is the side-entry model.

Braun’s side-entry conversion includes a roomy interior with a flat, lowered floor. A powered entry/exit system consists of a wheelchair ramp, a sliding side door and a kneeling feature that reduces the ramp angle and makes the vehicle easier to enter and exit for wheelchair users. The conversion also includes Braun-designed Step and Roll front seats that are easily removable to allow a wheelchair user to drive the vehicle (when equipped with hand controls) or ride in the front passenger position. For 2011, the side-entry conversion design also offers increased foot room for both the driver and front passenger.

Wheelchair Van Conversion

Wheelchair Accessible Van Conversion

Extensive testing of the converted vehicles by independent third-parties ensures that these vehicles meet strict government safety standards in both the U.S. and Canada, while providing highly reliable transportation for Braun’s customers.

“These great new vehicles demonstrate our ongoing commitment and dedication to meeting or exceeding customer needs. We are constantly challenging ourselves to develop conversions that provide our customers with greater driving freedom,” said Braun President Nick Gutwein. “Our customers can be confident that they’ll have safe, reliable transportation for years to come.”

Both vehicles completed safety testing in April, making Braun the mobility industry leader in safety with 37 validated vehicle platforms since 1991. The Dodge and Chrysler wheelchair vans passed all front, side and 50-mph rear crash tests. Braun leads the mobility industry with five different vehicle platforms receiving a “pass” rating within the lowered-floor side-entry minivans category.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country wheelchair van conversions are now available at more than 200 BraunAbility dealer locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Visit for more information about these new models or to find a BraunAbility dealer.