CHARLOTTE, Mich., May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Spartan Specialty Chassis and Vehicles, a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR) ("Spartan" or the "Company"), announced today it has entered into an exclusive U.S.-based assembly agreement with Grande West Transportation Group Inc. (TSXV: BUS)(OTC PINK: GWTNF), a Canadian bus manufacturer that designs, engineers, and manufactures purpose-built mid-size buses for transit authorities and commercial enterprises.
Under terms of the contract, Spartan will manufacture Grande West's Vicinity model buses, which will continue to satisfy the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Buy America requirements and reduce potential tariff exposures. The Grande West Vicinity bus achieved best-in-class results from the FTA Model Bus Testing Program, which measures structural durability and integrity, reliability, performance, maintainability, safety, noise, and fuel economy.
"This contract is a tremendous opportunity for Spartan to utilize our highly talented team and best-in-class facilities and processes to enter into a new sector of vehicle manufacturing," said Steve Guillaume, President of Spartan Specialty Vehicles. "This partnership is a great fit for both companies as it leverages Spartan's efficient and high-quality American manufacturing capability to support Grande West's continued U.S. growth."
Grande West's Vicinity bus is the leading heavy-duty mid-size, true community transit bus that operates in many municipalities across Canada. The Vicinity bus costs significantly less than a traditional 40-foot bus and is considerably more durable than cut-away buses with truck chassis bases. Poised for success in a largely unsaturated market, Grande West hopes to capitalize on growth from replacing cut-away buses and filling the need for an appropriately sized transit fleet in metro areas across Canada and the U.S.
"We are proud to partner with Spartan, the North American leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing and assembly," said Jean-Marc Landry, Chief Executive Officer of Grande West. "Through this agreement, we now have the production capacity and partnerships in place to accelerate our U.S. and Canadian market growth initiatives. The combination of Spartan's well-established and skilled manufacturing team along with its competitive production cost profile enables us to streamline our assembly processes and leverage purchasing efficiencies."
To find out more about the Vicinity bus in the U.S., visit https://grandewest.com/index.php/vicinity-usa. To learn more about Spartan's chassis and vehicle manufacturing capabilities, visit https://www.spartanmotors.com/.
About Spartan Motors
Spartan Motors, Inc. is the North American leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing and assembly for the commercial and retail vehicle industries (including last-mile delivery, specialty service, and vocation-specific upfit segments), as well as for the emergency response and recreational vehicle markets. The Company is organized into three core business segments, including Spartan Fleet Vehicles and Services, Spartan Emergency Response, and Spartan Specialty Vehicles. Today, its family of brands also include Spartan Authorized Parts, Spartan Factory Service Centers, Utilimaster®, Strobes-R-Us™, Smeal, Ladder Tower™, and UST®. Spartan
Motors and its go-to-market brands are well known in their respective industries for quality, durability, aftermarket product support, and first-to-market innovation. The Company employs approximately 2,300 associates, and operates facilities in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota; Saltillo, Mexico; and Lima, Peru. Spartan reported sales of $816 million in 2018. Learn more about Spartan Motors at www.spartanmotors.com.
About Grande West Transportation Group
Grande West is a Canadian company that designs, engineers and manufactures mid-size multi-purpose transit vehicles for public and commercial enterprises. Grande West's Best-in-Class heavy-duty Vicinity bus is available in 27.5, 30 and 35 foot models powered by clean diesel or CNG designed with affordability, accessibility and global responsibility in mind. It costs significantly less than a regular 40 foot transit bus, is more maneuverable, burns less fuel and emits less harmful emissions. Grande West will soon be offering a new product which will be the first Crossover Vehicle in the transit space - a medium-duty, monocoque-designed rear engine vehicle.
The Company has been successful in supplying Canadian municipal transportation agencies and private operators with new buses and is receiving follow-on orders in many Canadian transit agencies. Grande West is compliant to Buy America certification, and is actively pursuing opportunities in public and private transit fleet operations that would benefit from Grande West's vehicles.
Samara Hamilton – Corporate Director of Marketing and Communications
Spartan Motors, Inc.
Matt Jackson – Managing Partner
Lambert & Company
John LaGourgue – Vice President, Corporate Development
SOURCE Spartan Motors, Inc.