KMG on their success, the recession and the new XLR8

KMG are a Dutch company than manufacture a wide variety of flat rides – most of you will be familiar with their Afterburner model, examples of which are Vortex and Eagle’s Claw.

While you’re unlikely to get the chance on Vortex at Thorpe Park due to the queues, Lightwater Valley’s Eagle’s Claw is some experience on its lengthy and intense programme three.

They are also successful sellers of rides to seaside parks and travelling fairs and continuously announce new ride designs.

Today we caught up with Peter Theunisz, the company’s Sales Manager, and he was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.

What is your biggest selling model of ride and why do you think it is so?
Freak Out and Afterburner are our biggest hits. Running up is the Speed and Inversion. Reason for success is the price, high quality and easy handling. KMG rides are made from the owner’s point of view and we modify our rides frequently to meet modern standards. Park model rides are even more interesting because of the lower purchase price. Not to mention the low overall maintenance costs and operator-friendly handling of our rides.

We often only see your rides at fairgrounds and the smaller theme parks in the UK. Do you think this is because the smaller capacities of flat rides (compared to large rollercoasters for example) is off putting to very busy places such as Alton Towers?
That’s one of the reasons. More important is that the parks are not familiar with our rides and they not always know that we also manufacture park models of each of our available rides with a more interesting price. Parks in the US however are more frequent buyers of our park model rides. We’re actually building an X-Factory park model for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as we speak.

How do you think your sales have been affected by the recession? Do you think the theme and amusement park industry as a whole has grown as a result of more people taking holidays in their home countries?
The market for transportable rides has been affected and sales are slower than last year. Sales for parks went up because people are now more looking for a complete package to spend their holidays. Parks can provide this whole day of entertainment and they invest in new rides each year. Showmen find hard times these days to compete with the parks but in most of the countries they will survive and overcome the recession as they are known as hard workers with passion for their business. We already see more and more interest in our latest and future projects.  

I realise the industry is very secretive by nature, but can you tell us of any new rides you will be bringing to the UK in the future?
KMG has planned a new release for 2011. The ‘XLR8’ will be operational in November when everything goes as planned. Interested buyers are welcome to come and see this ride at our factory. In May 2012 we will have delivered another brand new ride to France. This ride will be revealed at the IAAPA Expo 2011 in Orlando. 

Can you tell us anything about any new designs or concepts you are working on at present?
Currently we’re working on the ‘XLR8’. This is a flat ride, constructed on one semi-trailer and holds 16 persons. This ride will gain extreme acceleration and high revolving speed. The new ride for 2012 will remain a classified project until the IAAPA Expo in Orlando, although interested buyers can see a preview of this ride at our factory.

We’d like to thank Peter for his quick response to our communiques and his willingness to take part.