Spartan Chassis has begun work on a $14.5 million 102,000 square foot manufacturing facility in its home town of Charlotte, Mich., giving the company more room to build fire apparatus chassis to meet a corporate record increase in demand.
The expansion project will also allow Spartan to enter the specialty product markets while freeing up space for future growth in its recreational vehicle and military chassis businesses.
The expansion announcement comes closely on the heels of Spartan’s report of its best month of orders for fire truck chassis in the company’s 30-year history with 188 orders in May. Spartan was also expecting to achieve its third consecutive quarter of increased orders by the end of June.
“We continue to see order momentum building due in large part to our strategic partnerships with dealers and apparatus builders,” said Richard Schalter, president of Spartan Chassis. “As we continue to grow market share for our fire truck chassis, we need the plant capacity and production line efficiency to stay ahead of customer demand, and this new facility gives us just that,”
The facility, which will begin producing chassis and cabs in May 2007, will feature multiple production lines, new and more efficient paint stations and a layout designed to accommodate lean manufacturing processes, according to Spartan. The new plant is also expected to result in staff additions as production increases.
“In addition to the increased demand for our existing fire truck chassis, we have several product development initiatives which we expect to debut in 2007 that will require increased cab and chassis production capacity,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “These product initiatives are based around the military business, as well as future specialty chassis products, illustrating our strategic vision to become North America’s premier manufacturer of specialty vehicles and chassis.”
Spartan Chassis is a subsidiary of Spartan Motors and is a leading manufacturer of specialty chassis for recreational vehicles, fire trucks and military defense vehicles. Spartan Motors also manufactures fire and rescue emergency vehicles under the brand names of Crimson Fire, Crimson Fire Aerials and Road Rescue. In 2005, the company reported sales of $343 million.
For information call 517-543-6400 or go to www.spartanchassis.com.