30 mph on water
(from Gibbs Press
Release) GIBBS ENTERING U.S. MARKET WITH AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLES
Technologies is forming three new companies to produce and market a
broad range of amphibious vehicles in North America.
vehicles planned for introduction in the U.S. in 2009 were displayed
at a news conference here today. Quadski, an all-terrain vehicle,
will be manufactured and sold by Gibbs Sports Amphibians.
Aquada, a vehicle that combines the handling of a sports car with an
ability to travel at more than 30 miles per hour on water, will be
built and marketed by Gibbs Amphibians.
A third company, Gibbs
Military Amphibians, will have responsibility for the development of
amphibians (HSA) for military use under an agreement with Lockheed
Martin (NYSE: LMT). Gibbs and Lockheed Martin plan to unveil several
military concept vehicles based on Gibbs’ patented
technology later this summer.
currently is considering locations for technical centers, sales
manufacturing plants in several states including Georgia, Virginia,
Michigan and Texas, according to Alan Gibbs, the firm’s founder and
“We’ll finalize our
bricks-and-mortar decisions within the next several months and
expect to begin new-model production in North America late next
Gibbs added that the recruitment of executives for key management
positions at each of the three new companies began last month.
Openings also will be available in engineering, manufacturing,
finance, human resources and sales. Employment at Gibbs facilities
in North America is expected to total more than 1,500 within three
“Our plans for North
America are ambitious, aggressive and achievable,” Gibbs said.
“We’re exploring a variety of manufacturing, supplier and
dealer-distribution options, as well as partnerships with potential
investors and licensees for our technology.
“Our market research
indicates that a line-up of high-speed amphibious vehicles similar
to the Aquada could generate annual sales volumes of 100,000 or more
within five years.”
Developed at a cost of
more than $100 million, both Aquada and Quadski are scheduled for
introduction in the U.S. during the first half of 2009. Fully
homologated for sale in Europe, a fleet of 10 Aquadas currently is
undergoing tests in southeastern Michigan.
“A commercially viable
high-speed amphibious vehicle has eluded auto manufacturers,
entrepreneurs and inventors for more than 100 years,” Gibbs noted.
“Recent developments in light-weight materials, engine technology
and vehicle architecture, however, have enabled us to accomplish
what many believed to be impossible.”
Initial design work on
the Aquada began in Detroit in 1997 with a team of more than 20
engineers. Product development later transferred to Coventry in the
UK, where the company tapped into a unique blend of motorsports,
aerospace and OEM engineering talent. More than one million man
hours have gone into the development of the company’s technology.
In 2004, a Gibbs
prototype HSA crossed the English Channel in a record-setting time
of less than two hours. During tests in Europe and North America,
prototype amphibians have traveled at speeds of more than 110 mph on
land and 45 mph on water. Both Quadski and Aquada also have the
unique ability to transition from land-to-water or water-to-land in
“Although Quadski and
Aquada will be among the first products introduced with our HSA
technology, we’re actively exploring a variety of other commercial
and military applications,” the company’s founder pointed out.
Gibbs protects its
amphibious vehicle technology with more than 70 patents and also has
a number of patents pending, according to Neil Jenkins, the
company’s president and CEO. Jenkins merged his company, Krafthaus,
with Gibbs in 1999 and his work in developing high-speed
amphibious-vehicle technology recently received the UK’s prestigious
Churchill Medal for innovation and engineering excellence.
“Since the late 1890’s,
there have been literally hundreds of attempts to build a
commercially viable amphibious vehicle,” Gibbs noted. “The Magrelen
Amphibium built in Denmark in 1899 is credited with being one of the
first motorized attempts, while the Hobbycar produced in France
between 1992 and 1995 was one of the last.”
Porsche built an
estimated 5,000 Type 166 Schwimmwagens between 1940 and 1944. Hans
Trippel manufactured and sold nearly 4,000 Amphicars during the
1960’s. The USA produced thousands of amphibious vehicles during
World War II. None were capable of speeds of more than seven mph on
Gibbs Technologies is
headquartered in Nuneaton near Coventry in the UK, where it has
research and development facilities, a prototype manufacturing
plant, as well as styling, engineering and marine-test facilities.
Additional information about the company, its technology and
amphibious vehicles is available on the Internet at
The Aquada is a
revolutionary showcase of High Speed Amphibian (HSA) technology.
This radical new breed of vehicle has been precision engineered to
the most exacting standards. It has undergone an extensive safety
testing programme and complies with appropriate marine and road
Entry to the water is via beach, boat ramp, slipway or directly from
the water's edge. Once afloat, the transition from road vehicle to
High Speed Amphibian (HSA) is effortlessly achieved.
Simply press a button and drive into the water. The wheels
automatically rise and as you press the accelerator nearly a tonne
of thrust pushes the Aquada onto the plane. The whole process takes
less than 12 seconds. The Aquada can plane at over 30mph.
Powerful enough to tow a water-skier and with a style and class of
its own, the Gibbs Aquada is the perfect leisure vehicle. It
combines the thrill of an open top car with the sheer exhilaration
experienced in a high performance speedboat.
The Aquada is the new name for freedom!