Amigo 45th Anniversary | Friendly Wheels | Issue 69

Posted on Friday November 1, 2013

Celebrating 45 Years of Improving Lives Through Mobility®

Friendly Wheels, Issue 69
November 2013

With Amigo Mobility International


Though it has been 45 years since Al Thieme invented the first Amigo in a small garage in Bridgeport, Mich., the goal of Improving Lives Through Mobility® remains the same.


“The reason for starting Amigo Mobility was to ‘find a better wayfor a family member to stay active,” Al said. From the yellow Amigo Classic Front Drive to the Amigo TravelMate, Amigo’s focus has been to provide each customer with the best product for their needs.


As founder, Al has the longest tenure with Amigo at 45 years, but there are many employees who have spent much of their lives as part of the Amigo family. Nine members of our current team have been with Amigo for more than 20 years!



Customization Manager Phil Buetow has been with Amigo for 30 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. “Throughout my many years at Amigo, it is always a great feeling when longtime customers are ready to buy a new Amigo and are so pleased with the product that they request the same customizations,” Phil said.


With customers in mind, Amigo products have always been held to high standards of quality. No one knows this better than Production Manager Mike Henris.



“The impact the Amigo has on a person’s life makes it imperative that we produce the highest quality product possible,” Mike said. “Our team appreciates the value of the products we build – we are dedicated to quality and truly care about the products we create and the customers we build them for.”


Research & Development Manager Al Bussinger (another 30 year team member!) has witnessed much of Amigo’s product evolution. “Amigo is an R&D driven company where innovation is our passion,” Al said. “As an Amigo engineer for many years, I am pleased to be part of such a great mission.”


The diverse Amigo product line now includes motorized shopping carts and products for outdoor facilities like zoos and amusement parks. In 2005, the Amigo Shabbat was introduced for the use of Orthodox Jews with walking limitations.


Amigo Mobility is still headquartered in Bridgeport, Mich., though we’ve grown quite a bit since starting in the garage across the street – the facility now covers 55,000 square feet, with another expansion coming in 2014. Since 1968, more than 222,000 Amigos have been manufactured in Bridgeport, and shipped to more than 30 different countries across the globe.


“Our Amigo customers have become friends and family – I’m honored that Amigo has been part of their lives and I really enjoy keeping in touch with them,” Al said. “When someone tells me they couldn’t start their day, go to work or travel with their family without their Amigo, it means so much to me that we were able to help them.”



Do you have a favorite Amigo memory from the past 45 years? We’d love to hear it! Send your story to, and we’ll post it on the Amigo Mobility blog!



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