THE AMERICAN ATOM
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THE COMPLETE TELLING OF THE ARIEL ATOM | VIDEO 36:00
After dealing with hundreds of cars, working in automotive and tech, we as a group are very practical about cars and products. There are hidden costs and loads of nonsensical marketing hype to sell things. As time moves on we love the practical and real products that are developed and made with clear purpose. Too many items are compromised to reach broad appeal, because in reality, that is what sells. It is rare we find a product and group of people behind those products that captures our attention like the Atom and TMI. Lets Begin...
THE STORY This was our second encounter with the Atom, our first trip was 10 years ago when the Atom 2 launched in Oregon.
Most enthusiasts know just how capable Ariel Atom is. An open wheel sports car that looks closer to a race car than anything else. While some may consider it a toy or a luxury it actually maybe the future of the driver's car. Today most manufacturers have to continue compromising, adding weight, electronics, safety, cameras, sensors, mechanical complication, the Atom reverses all of it. It's one of those few cars that if you are not prepared for speed you best bring a change of underwear with.
"In 10 years when almost all the high strung manual transmission vehicles vanish in favor of semi-autonomous connected cars, the Atom maybe the savior for those who love driving purity."
TMI Autotech has the license to manufacture the Atom3 and the new Nomad. As a company they maybe unknown to most, this group is the perfect combination of people to handle the effort. They have a motorsports background which seems to be a pre-requisite here, but what was unexpected was their level of commitment for hard work. It's not just about the money for them. It's an actual passion.
"THE ATOM AND NOMAD ARE BUILT TO ORDER, COMPLETELY CUSTOM"
Over the course of three days we learned about the Atom and the Nomad. They are indeed some of the most extreme and entertaining performance cars. They are rare and would appeal to any enthusiast or track driver. But the appeal extends to the exotic owners. While big brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche dominate popular media they don't command the attention of most every person in a public space like the Atom does. The car is unique because it's not trying to be unique. The originality comes from purpose. The design ideology is simplistic yet functional and also light weight. Most of that formula proves that owners don't have to flash the cash and a fancy badge to garner prestige.
DESIGNED AND MADE IN AMERICA , THAT'S A CHANGE
Our trip to TMI taught us many things, but the largest take away was that there are people behind products like this. And while many expect some monster operation with advanced robotics, assembly lines and thousands of workers, TMI is small American business with 22 workers. Automotive products designed and made in America become more rare as the lure of overseas manufacturing can pad profits.
There was no magic formula here, no fast track to success, only hard work that over years has grown into consecutive achievements. It should give small business hope that there are regions and states that can help shoulder the burden. Counties like Halifax, Virginia have an industrial development program that is aggressive at courting solid business plans. What that means is less stress, more jobs and help for local communities. In America we are enamored with products, many don't pay much attention to where it's made or who designed it. In the case of TMI the connection can be made and the people are tangible. Something that makes the Atom even more interesting.
If you are someone in the automotive sector, or a business owner that has more questions, please contact us.
CONTACTS AND SOURCES FROM TMI AND HALIFAX, VIRGINIA
Matt Leonard: Executive Director – Halifax County Industrial Development Authority
Mark Swain: Vice President – Sales/Marketing
Jesse Kenealy: Director of Sales Contacts: