The Story Behind Permobil
Our story starts in the 1960s when Beatlemania was sweeping the world and the first man was about to walk on the moon.
At the same time, in a small corner of Sweden, a man on a quest was making another kind of history. That man was Per Uddén. In his work as a doctor, he met polio patients who were confined indoors to their wheelchairs. He wondered why they couldn't use those chairs outside.
Driven by his passion to find a solution that would make the lives of his patients better, he and his friend, Bert Engman, spent many evenings working together in a basement to build an electric wheelchair that would give people the freedom to go outside.
The fact that they didn't have any skills in building electric vehicles didn't stop them.
In 1966, they launched their first wheelchair and a year later, the company – our company, Permobil – was born.
Per nurtured the company and after his death, the family continued to look after his legacy until they decided to sell the company in 2005. The company changed hands again in 2013 when Investor bought us. With their support, we started to grow and bought the American company TiLite in 2014.
Although a relative newcomer that got its start in the 1990s, the company had experience in making titanium bike and motorcycle frames, golf shafts and wheelchair parts. Echoing Per Uddén's question about electric wheelchairs in the 1960s, the people of TiLite asked themselves why manual chairs were so heavy and ugly. And that's how they found their purpose: to make custom-fit manual wheelchairs that are both strong and light – and good to look at.
A year later, it was the turn of Roho to join the family. Roho's history (just like Permobil's) started out with one man – an electrical engineer called Robert H. Graebe. Back in 1957, he was working in a hospital when he met a patient with terrible pressure injuries. He wondered how it was possible for someone to be hospitalized just from the act of sitting. He spent the next twenty years working on a technology to prevent such injuries.
We are constantly growing by adding members to our Permobil family.
Today Permobil is a world leader in complex rehab technology. We make customized power and manual wheelchairs as well as wheelchair cushions, back support and skin protection.
Our history shows us that we are pioneers, innovators, humanitarians and people who are passionate about what we do. We stand up for our customers' rights to mobility and independence – and we make products that help them live their lives on their own terms.
Because here at Permobil, we see everyone in terms of their ability. And we look forward to a time when we are all recognized for what we CAN do – rather than for what we can't do.