Coming from America: The Personalization of Golf Cars Internationally (Jan/Feb 2017)

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By Jesse Burson

We all owe the Europeans a debt of gratitude for creating the game of golf. Without the golf course, it is probably safe to assume the electrical cars that support so many of us would not have gained the popularity they have today. No longer are golf cars exclusive to the course. They can be seen in airports, shopping malls, industrial factories, and even Disney World!

A380 Airbus

A380 Airbus

In my travels around the globe, I am always enthused by the car modifications made by locals to solve a problem and streamline productivity. At the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, a local French company worked with engineers there to design a golf car that had an automated speed control system that is controlled by zones on the premises. Having one of the leading global aircraft manufacturers collaborate with a business in the golf car market is pretty inspiring!

But… enough about the practical uses of our favorite form of transportation, the demand for personalization in the world consumer market continues to grow and creating the supply is up to us! Who would have thought a three wheeled vehicle, steered by a handlebar, used to transport the elderly to the market would transform into a multibillion dollar global market? Who imagined a golf car would cost more than a luxury automobile? Yet, personalized cars such as the Garia are going to lead the growth for car and parts manufacturers alike.

According to a Google search (the universal answer to any question, at least to me) the golf cart was first introduced in the USA. In continuing with the American way, why take the time to walk a course and enjoy a round of golf when you can ride and move on to the next task? We did not stop there either. The golf car has followed in the footsteps of the automobile. You can now purchase one customized to your liking. After all, why have one like your neighbors when you can have one that looks better than theirs as well! 14” colored rims that match your contoured, custom stitched seats that bring out the custom paint job on your new body kit designed to look like a Porsche.

While America’s invention of the golf car made its way to our friends around the globe, our personalization of them is still lagging behind, and that is where opportunity presents itself. I have yet to see a community internationally with 70,000 plus customized golf cars like The Villages in Florida, but I have met the dealers who are going to supply the new demands of consumers around the world. It is up to international suppliers and dealers alike to capitalize on this trend. Having a showroom with consumer packaged products, unique accessorized cars, and marketing material will certainly help as we have seen in North America. After all, the consumer might not know they need it until they see it.