Spartan to close Florida firetruck plant, move work to South Dakota and Michigan

Spartan to close Florida firetruck plant, move work to South Dakota and Michigan

Restructuring of the Emergency Response business line calls for manufacturing shift.

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October 30, 2014

Charlotte, Michigan – Spartan Motors Inc. plans to close its fire truck assembly facility in Ocala, Florida, by the end of the year as part of its restructuring of its Emergency Response business unit. Fire truck production will transition from Ocala to Spartan's Brandon, South Dakota, and Charlotte, Michigian, facilities during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Spartan will invest approximately $5 million to strengthen processes throughout the Emergency Response business. Scalable business processes will support continuing growth by allowing Spartan to quote, design, and engineer products more effectively, profitably and in higher volume. Spartan also intends to rationalize its product line and options to enhance product quality and reduce costs.

The company announced plans to close the Ocala facility after reviewing its manufacturing footprint. Management anticipates significant cost savings by co-locating part of its fire truck assembly operations with custom chassis production.

Spartan expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $2.4 million in its fourth-quarter 2014 results. This charge will cover costs of the Ocala plant closure, as well as current period expenditures for process improvement initiatives in the Emergency Response business. Management expects the consolidation plan to reduce future capital and equipment requirements, improve manufacturing flexibility, and generate significant production cost advantages.

John Szytkiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, said, "The success we experienced building fire trucks at Charlotte, completing the 70-unit Peru order while exceeding operational targets, reinforces our decision to leverage the capabilities of our main campus. Emergency Response is a core market for Spartan and one of great opportunity. We are concentrating our resources and investing in the future of our Emergency Response business to continue improving its operational performance and accelerate the pace of change."

Source: Spartan Motors