Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just add water...

Yesterday I spent the day at the Axis Wake Research and Malibu Boats factory in Loudon, Tennessee, and let me tell you... I had an absolute blast! A big thanks to Debbie for putting together the luncheon and to Adam for the awesome tour.

I went down for the company's annual luncheon and awards. For my part, I did a presentation on my job as an IndyCar driver, then showed a video highlighting how I unwind and spend time outside of the racecar... on my Axis A22! Once the awards ceremony part of the luncheon began, I was able to raffle off some IndyCar-related prizes to the factory employees. I'm excited to host two of them at Barber Motorsports Park next season for the race weekend and show off our machines!

Speaking to the employees about IndyCar.
After the luncheon, Adam took me on a tour of the factory. This is where I definitely geeked-out! The whole thing was just so impressive... the attention to detail is evident throughout the process. You see the employees fitting pieces by hand, stitching the seat covers, inspecting the product during each step. It's truly a hand-made boat. And in talking to the factory employees along the way, I could tell that they all take such pride in their jobs. Axis and Malibu seem to have a rewarding, inclusive company culture and everyone there "gets it" for sure.

It actually reminded me of visiting the Honda plant in Alabama last March, though of course there were some differences. At the Honda plant, everything was very mechanically efficient and had its own place on the production line. Honda can get out almost 1500 Odyssey vans per day (with a full inspection for each car) while the Axis boats are more custom, and more hands-on time is spent with each piece. However, at the end both produce such high-quality products. So cool to see it all happen in person!

Now all I need is some sunshine and warm weather... I'm ready to get back out on the water!

I think Spencer liked the No. 83 diecast!
Thanks for saying hi, Jane!
Another prize winner!

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