Spartan Motors Redefines Global Leadership in Emergency Response

CHARLOTTE, MI – Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR) has announced the major building blocks of a global emergency response (ER) strategy that will serve as the foundation for Spartan’s continued growth in the North American and global marketplace.

“Emergency response is over one-third of our business and the second largest market we serve in North America.” says John Sztykiel, Spartan Motors president and chief executive officer. “Emergency response is a growth market. Domestically, the demand for ER services continues to increase commensurate with the underlying demographic forces. Globally, the demand for ER services is about infrastructure.  As economies continue to progress and develop, the demand for ER services increases.  Collectively, it is very much a growth market, so we are focused on expanding both our global presence and the scope of our domestic offerings.”

Spartan Motors (SMI) is supporting its global strategy with a range of actions, including:

  • Execution of a shared strategic vision with the French company Gimaex – a like-minded OEM with an extensive technology portfolio and strong global business in the emergency response industry.  “Our plan is to align the Spartan and Gimaex organizations, when appropriate, to ensure future growth,” said Sztykiel.  “ER has become a growth market internationally, and we are now positioned to develop emergency response services and equipment to match burgeoning worldwide demand with increased speed and innovation, expanded product lines and global distribution points.”
  • Expanding Spartan’s brand power and leveraging this asset to the continued benefit of Spartan Chassis’ OEM partners and their dealers.  “Spartan Chassis already has the broadest lineup of custom chassis, and the technology and performance we offer will steadily grow, starting at FDIC,” said Sztykiel.
  • Collaboration with Renault to develop new opportunities and products for the North American ER marketplace – such as the Spartan R XO cab/chassis, which boasts industry-best clearance and maneuverability.
  • Promotion of Dennis Schneider to president of Spartan Motors’ Emergency Response business (presiding over Spartan ERV and Spartan Chassis), where he will expand the company’s North American and global presence.
  • Accelerated new product development and continued investment: 13 new market-changing products / technologies will be showcased April 19-21 in Indianapolis, Ind., at FDIC, North America’s largest ER trade show.  Examples include:
    • Cab/Chassis: best-in-class safety system, the new cross-over concept chassis – the Spartan R XO – and other technologies
    • Body/Apparatus: new class of aerial – Spartan’s Telstar – IPS (Intelligent Pump Solutions), industry-leading CAFS and other technologies
  • Global consolidation of brands in the ER marketplace.  The Crimson Fire brand will be replaced with Spartan ERV and all emergency response products will be branded Spartan in all geographies.

“Excellence always attracts excellence, and we’re proud our organization has been able draw the type of partners and associates that will ensure growth,” says Sztykiel. “This is about expansion, leveraging the global brand strength of Spartan and improving our efficiency as Spartan’s cost base will be reduced.”

Spartan Gimaex Global Leadership
Gimaex is a top-five global leader with a reputation for development and manufacture of cutting-edge products for the ER industry, a key to Spartan’s global vision.  Likewise, Spartan’s strength in North America provides Gimaex with a solid partner for the future.  Their collaboration will include technology sharing, joint product development, commercial agreements and additional purchasing clout, as well as leveraging development and build costs as global sales opportunities present themselves. Finally, Spartan and Gimaex have complementary geographic, engineering and production footprints that will enable both companies to build a true global presence.

Renault Global Chassis Technology Leadership
Renault, known for its design and engineering abilities, will collaborate with Spartan in North America’s ER marketplace.  The first project, the Spartan R XO chassis, is a low-cost, all-wheel-drive commercial chassis with industry-leading clearance and maneuverability that will make its debut at FDIC, April 19.

One Brand: Spartan
A key component of Spartan’s global strategy is eliminating brand dilution and ensuring focused strength around one brand: Spartan.  With concentration on one brand, efficiencies will be gained across different operating disciplines.  “All companies must constantly evolve their strategy and operational disciplines,” said Sztykiel.  “Adapt, evolve and lead – a major part of our evolution and growth over the past 36 years – will become more closely integrated into the Spartan Emergency Response structure.  From innovation to purchasing and customer service, all operating disciplines will be leveraged to improve speed and efficiency.”

Schneider Brings Market-Changing Leadership and International Expertise
Dennis Schneider (former vice president of Crimson-Fire) brings a new level of experience to all of Spartan’s ER operations as the newly appointed President of Spartan’s Emergency Response business. (Please see accompanying press release.) “Dennis boasts extensive operational expertise, front-end experience to accelerate distribution development and open new markets and has held a range of positions with companies doing business in the Americas, Asia and Europe. This will be particularly valuable as we introduce a record number of products to the marketplace,” said Tom Gorman, chief operating officer of Spartan Motors.  He is the right man to lead Spartan Emergency Response as we redefine global leadership.”

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