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Member Introduction Permobil: Improving The Lives of The Physically Challenged For Over 50 Years
NEWS | Features

Member Introduction Permobil: Improving The Lives of The Physically Challenged For Over 50 Years

17 January 2020 | Written by administrator


In 2020, the Olympic & Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo. The world’s top athletes will be slugging it out for a medal at a stadium near you. But not all are Olympians trained to outperform rivals and break personal records. For Paralympians, glory is only attainable if they can properly control their physical impairments. Permobil—a world leading wheelchair maker—has supported Paralympians and all people with mobility disabilities live in harmony despite their impairments since the 1960s. SCCJ visited Managing Director Chuji Kaseda in Koto-ku, Tokyo, to learn how their business supports people’s lives.


Permobil was founded by Dr. Per Uddén in 1967. Their headquarters is located at , Västernorrlands län, approximately 400km north of Stockholm. Dr. Uddén, who passed away in 2002, was a Swedish doctor, inventor, and entrepreneur. In 1966, he created Sweden’s first electric wheelchair to provide polio patients the opportunity to move freely outside.


Today, Permobil has around 1,600 employees working in 17 countries worldwide. Their products—a wide array that includes manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, and other wheelchair related products—are sold in over 70 countries. Within the industry, many experts describe Permobil as the “Rolls-Royce of wheelchairs”.


“Our products are very different from other wheelchairs. This is because not only can you use them in a seated position, you can also use them in a standing position or even lying down. These features were introduced not only to provide an extra level of comfort to the user; people with serious mobility disabilities need these to go about their daily activities” explained Mr. Kaseda.


In 2013, Swedish investment company Investor AB acquired 100% of Permobil’s shares. Investor AB was founded in 1916 and is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm. It is a significant minority shareholder of some of Sweden’s most venerable corporations.


Permobil K.K. was established in 2003. It’s 2018 gross revenue was approximately ¥530 million (around 45.5 million SKE). The company currently has a total of 16 employees. Mr. Kaseda joined Permobil K.K. in 2010. In 2015, he was promoted to sales manager. He has been the managing director since 2018.


“In Japan, we distribute 10 types of manual wheelchairs, four types of electric wheelchairs, and power assistant devices called SmartDrive. These are wholesaled to around 40 retail stores nationwide. Our electric wheelchairs are priced between ¥982,000 and ¥3,600,000. Our most expensive product is called the F5VS. This is probably the most advanced product on the market right now” said Mr. Kaseda.


Their latest power assistant device is called SmartDrive MX2+. By attaching SmartDrive MX2+ to the back of a wheelchair, the user can transport themselves hands-free even on a manual wheelchair. The device is controlled through Bluetooth by wearing a smartwatch called PushTracker E2. Permobil obtained this technology in 2017, after acquiring a US company called MAX Mobility. The device has been endorsed by Japanese Paralympian canoeist Monika Seryu:


“SmartDrive MX2+ only weighs 6kg. This is around 10kg lighter than our competitor’s assistant device product. Our device’s maximum speed is 6km/h. It has a lithium ion battery and can travel a maximum distance of 19.8km without recharging. The user can set the traveling speed by double-tapping the wheelchair’s wheel. Our customers say SmartDrive MX2+ makes traveling long distances, especially routes with lots of ups and downs, so much easier” explained Mr. Kaseda.


One of the greatest challenges Permobil K.K. must overcome to realize their mid and long term grow strategy is government subsidies. In Sweden today, all Permobil products are 100% subsidized by the government. But in Japan, that is usually not the case.


“In Sweden, a user would basically never pay out of their own pocket. But in Japan, only certain wheelchairs are subsidized by the government. Many Permobil products are not subsidized, or, even if they are, finalizing the approval process could take up to 12 months. In Sweden, the same process only takes between two weeks to three months” said Mr. Kaseda.


For people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other serious disabilities, the difference between two week and 12 months is literally life changing. Although some ALS patients—for example British physicist Stephen Hawking—can continue living for several decades or more, most ALS patients die only after a few years.


“In the US, more than 90% of ALS patients use Permobil’s products. But in Japan, it’s less than 1%. Our current goal is going beyond the 1% mark. There are around 10,000 ALS patients in Japan. We really want to support more of them live life to their fullest potential” commented Mr. Kaseda.


We would like to extend a warm welcome to Permobil K.K. as a member of SCCJ. You can find out more about their products at:




ペルモビールは1967年にPer Uddén医師により設立された。本社はストックホルムから400キロほど北、ヴェステルノールランドのティムローにある。Uddén氏は2002年に亡くなったが、彼自身はスウェーデン人の医者であり、発明家であり、経営者であった。1966年、彼はスウェーデンで初めて電動車いすを開発し、ポリオ患者が自由に外に出られる機会を提供したのだった。






2013年、スウェーデンの投資会社Investor ABがペルモビールの株式を100%取得した。Investor ABは1916年に設立され、ストックホルムのナスダック市場に上場している。この会社は少数株主として、由緒あるスウェーデンの会社を複数所有している。




「日本では、10種類の手動車いす、4種類の電動車いす、そしてSmartDriveと呼ばれるアシストデバイスを販売しています。国内では40店舗ほどで取り扱われています。我々の電動車いすの値段は98万2千円から 360万円まで幅があります。一番高価なものはF5VSと呼ばれる商品です。これは現在マーケットの中でもっとも上級のモデルになります。」


彼らの最新のアシストデバイスはSmartDrive MX2+という製品だ。これを車いすの後ろにつけることで、ユーザーは手動の車いすであってもハンズフリーで移動することができる。デバイスはPushTracker E2と呼ばれるスマートウォッチからブルートゥースで操作することができる。ペルモビールはこの技術を2017年、アメリカのMAX Mobilityを買収した後に獲得した。この製品は日本のパラカヌー選手瀬立モニカ選手にも支持されている。


「SmartDrive MX2+は重さが6キロしかありません。他社の同じような製品より10キロほど軽いのです。このデバイスは最高時速6キロまで出すことができます。リチウムイオン電池が内蔵されており、充電なしで最高19.8キロの距離を走ることができます。ユーザーは車いすの車輪を2回たたくことでスピードをコントロールできます。これを使うことで、ユーザーの方は長い距離や特に段差の多い場所へ行くのがとても楽になったとおっしゃっています。」