An American ATV Brand Mystery
Date:Jan 11, 2021
Highland was formed in the late 90s in Sweden making premium off-road race equipment. After running into financial troubles, founder Mats Malmberg sought support and finally got the attention of an Oklahoma-based venture capitalist and former racer named Chase Bales.
Together they formed US Highland, brought the operation to Bales’ home state of OK and got underway designing a roster of performance motorcycles (street and off-road, gas and electric) as well as a performance based ATV. They got as far as construction of their new state of the art factory then tragedy struck.
In July of 2010 a plane carrying Malmberg, Bales and the company’s Chief Financial Officer Damian Riddoch crashed outside of Tulsa, leaving no survivors.
You are correct that the ATV they proposed (as well as the rest of the equipment they intended on producing) never made it to market. Prior to the crash, Highland planned to sell 700 units in 2010, across eight different models and then more than double that figure (1500) for 2011.