Spartan Cautious About Pusher Market
Diesel-pusher motorhome chassis supplier Spartan Motors Inc. reported sharply lower second-quarter sales and earnings and the company remains “cautious about the short-term recovery in the (diesel) motorhome market,” according to John Sztykiel, president and CEO.
Spartan’s second-quarter net earnings declined 76% to $734,000 and its sales slipped 16% lower to $55.1 million.
During the first half of this year, Spartan’s earnings declined 47% to $3.3 million and its sales declined 13% to $115.5 million.
“Softness in the motorhome industry, expenses related to the relocation of our ambulance operations and costs related to the merger of our fire apparatus units created a significant drain on earnings,” according to Sztykiel. “That said, we are confident the worst is behind us.”
Concerning Spartan’s lower motorhome chassis sales during the April-through-June period, Sztykiel said, “A number of market factors made for a tough quarter, including model year changeover, overstocked dealer inventories and pricing pressure at the retail level.
“We took an aggressive stance on cutting operating expenses and increasing our focus on sales. Order intake has picked up in the third quarter, but we remain cautious about short-term recovery of the motorhome market.”
As of June 30, Spartan’s motorhome chassis order backlog “remained comparable to the first quarter 2003,” the company said.