We recently heard from Aaron Rosenzweig, who lives with his family in Maryland, USA. Aaron noticed a problem, that some of the very best quadracycle designs are made in places like the Netherlands and yes, China, but there are no North American dealers or importers, so it is hard to get one. Because Aaron has a young family and would like a quadracycle to get around with he decided to address this problem.
It seems that the sea shipping for large items like quadracycles is based on container space and you pay to ship a container, regardless of what is in it. A container can hold 20 quadracycles and so if you can collect that many orders then the shipping costs per quadracycle are greatly reduced. Sounds simple, but this requires someone to organize it, which is where Aaron got involved.
Aaron's solution was to start a small enterprise to collect names of people interested and when he has 20 for each model then put in an order, get it filled and delivered. At present he is doing just that - collecting names for his first orders.
To simplify things further Aaron has settled on ordering two models of quadracycle. The one from the Netherlands is the Quattrocycle an amazingly well-engineered vehicle offered in two and four seat models with additional child seating that can be added. Aaron says "Without question the Quattrocycle is the best family cycle ever devised. Its price reflects this fact but, wow, what a bike!" It costs US$4,595 delivered, but has amazing features like full off-road suspension (are you listening Rhoades Car?), great ground clearance and recumbent Textilene seating. The Chinese one is the Guangxin GX01 which looks a lot like the old out-of-production ZEM, a good solid quadracycle for four, at a reasonable price US$3,295 delivered.
Aaron isn't really aiming to make money from this, as he has a day job as a government foundation software developer, he just wants to get a bunch of families out of their cars and into pedal-powered transportation, which sounds like a laudable goal. Give the price of gasoline and where it is going, this project should sell itself. The fact that you get some couple or family time together out in the fresh air getting some exercise is a bonus!
If you are interested have a read though his well-laid out website where he explains what he is doing and introduces the models he wants to import. You can also sign up for a quadracycle if you like. No down payment is required until he has 20 people signed up for each model and is ready to place the order.