Wim Ouboter had already earned an MBA from Zurich Business School, worked as a Swiss banker, studied International Business at Boston College and built a textile factory in South Carolina, when, in his early 30s, he recognized a need for a new type of mobility – one that would be efficient for traveling a ‘micro’ distance, which he defined as ‘too far to walk and too short to drive’. He claims his vision was born of laziness but whatever the motivation, the terms ‘Micro distance’ and ‘Mobility’ were already in Wim Ouboter’s vocabulary as early as 1999, when he founded and named his Swiss company, Micro-Mobility.
As Wim set to work producing prototypes of re-tooled scooters from his youth, his first improvements were upgraded materials, PU wheels and a folding block. In1999, he finally introduced Micro scooters and kickboards to the market in Europe and shortly thereafter in the US under the names Razor, K2 and Huffy.
The Micro difference has always been Wim’s minimalist approach, combining quality materials to make the products exceptionally strong, smooth-gliding and durable, while keeping the scooters lightweight enough to be easily folded and carried. The lightweight feature is critical as it allows riders to carry their transport with them throughout the day, serving to streamline the commute dramatically – no locking, no parking, no passwords, no waiting.
Wim continued to introduce increasing levels of quality to the design and construction of the scooters, which served to elevate them from toys to transport, an important distinction that still separates the Micro brand from mass-market scooters today.
Micro continues to lead as a premium brand, well-loved and respected globally, selling in 80 countries around the world.The recipient of numerous design awards, Micro scooters and kickboards are seen regularly in the celebrity press ridden by celebs and their kids. It’s the go-to brand for quality at every age.
Recent innovations include the Micro Luggage scootcase, the Pedalflow (a folding bike without a seat) and the e-micro electric scooter plus 4 new gen electric versions arriving Jan 2018.
The Microlino is an EV and Micro’s next big ‘little’ thing. Based on the Italian-designed Isetta produced by BMW in the mid-1950s, the Microlino will be ready for sale in Spring 2018.
Wim’s vision for the Microlino is that it will find traction amongst those who want an electric vehicle that is affordable, environmentally clean, quiet, can park (sideways!) in the leftover space between parking spots and offers just enough room for a driver, a passenger, their luggage or shopping bags. And, who doesn’t want a vehicle that you enter via the hood?