Bruno Independent Living Aids

Bruno Independent Living Aids

1780 Executive Drive, Oconomowoc

Industry: Accessibility products manufacturer

Innovation: A powered transfer seat for disabled drivers of trucks and SUVs.

Oconomowoc-based Bruno Independent Living Aids, a manufacturer of home accessibility products, last year created a product which helps disabled drivers get into the driver’s seat of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

The product, called the TAS-1850 Stow-Away, is a mechanism that users sit on and it raises them into the driver’s seat.

“We are excited because this product offers another solution to customers that we didn’t offer in the past,” said Michael Bruno III, president and chief executive officer.

The mechanism is affixed to the running board mounts under the vehicle. It also uses bolt-in technology, which limits damage to the vehicle and helps conserve the vehicle’s retail value. The product fits onto the frame of GMC Silverado, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and the Escalade and holds up to 300 pounds.

Bruno launched the TAS-1850 at a trade show in February 2009. The product provided $1 million in revenue for the company in 2009 and the company expects product sales to increase in 2010, Bruno said.

“It works well with our other products,” he said.

Founded in 1984, Bruno Independent Living Aids is a manufacturer of accessibility products with 1,000 distributors in North America. Bruno employs 300 at the Oconomowoc headquarters and 100 in Europe.

“New product development has been the core of our business,” said Bruno. “Our lifts and seats have led the industry and we’ve built that industry here in the U.S. This industry is rewarding and we are reminded every day by looking at our customers and knowing what we do is not just a job. We are helping people live independent lives.”

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