by James Rada, Jr. photography by Bill Ryan
In 2014, the six-year-old FR Conversions was growing so fast that the company actually put off taking on new business because it had nowhere to grow. The company was crammed into a 20,000-square-foot facility in Woodlawn. So the search began for a new location with room to grow. In 2015, the company moved to the old General Dynamics plant in Westminster. It was a $20 million investment in Carroll County.
“We have almost 152,000 square feet now and we’re almost out of space again,” said Wayne Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing for FR Conversions.
The reason for the company’s quick growth has been FR Conversions’ focus on its mission to make mobility affordable. FR Conversions converts vans into vehicles that are wheelchair accessible and the company does it at an affordable price.
FR Conversions vans are customized to the customer’s needs. They can have wide, durable, spring-assisted ramps that never fail and don’t use a motor that can burn out. Back hatch entry and exit is the easiest way to get a wheelchair into and out of a mobility van, which is why it comes standard on an FR Conversions van.
“Our vans are anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 less than our competition,” said Taylor.
FR Conversions does this by getting a great price on vans from the automotive manufacturer, then converting it with their own equipment that is manufactured at their plant, and finally by keeping their margins low.
It is important to FR Conversions’ private clients that the price stay affordable since van conversion is typically not covered by insurance.
Also, once the move to Carroll County was made, the company was able to start converting a line of buses that it had put off. The company also expects to soon be converting Pacific hybrid vehicles that get 80 mpg into type II ambulances.
This fast growth in the company means that FR Conversions needs help.
“We are aggressively looking for workers,” Taylor said. “We have about 100 people now, but our bus line is about to go to two shifts.”
FR Conversions has plenty of work to keep its employees busy with four new lines that the company is planning to introduce: the FR ambulance emergency van, Road Hawg V-sports van, Town & Country side load van, and Town & Country Hybrid van.
FR Conversions www.frconversions.com • 844-372-8267 • 1231 Tech Court, Westminster, Maryland 21157
- FR Conversions is Chrysler’s largest buyer of vans for mobility conversion.
- The base model van is a Dodge Caravan. The average price of a van conversion including the cost of the van is around $30,000.
- FR Conversions converted around 2,000 vans in 2015 and expects to do around 3,000 this year.
- FR Conversions vans have passed a full crash test series with MGA Labs and meet or exceed all FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) requirements.
- Owner and President Eliyahu Rosenbloom developed his idea for a cost-effective mobility vehicle after owning and operating several ambulance and mobility companies.
- FR Conversions was the first company to bring an 80 mpg taxi to market. Not only is it handicapped accessible, but it is environmentally friendly.
- FR Conversions has the largest inventory of ready-to-go special-needs vans in America.
- FR Conversions is the country’s fastest-growing van-conversion specialist.
- FR Conversions is the largest manufacturer of handicapped-accessible taxis in both Washington, D.C., and New York City.