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Forest River Buys Spartan’s Utilimaster Facility

Spartan Motors Inc. announced the sale of the majority of its Utilimaster Corp. manufacturing facility in Wakarusa, Ind., to Forest River Inc.

According to a news release, the transaction was pursuant to Spartan’s announcement on Feb. 14, 2012, that it will relocate the company’s Utilimaster operations to Bristol, Ind., from Wakarusa.

“The sale of the Wakarusa facility represents an important step in the transition of Utilimaster’s operations to Bristol,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors, parent to Spartan Chassis Inc. “As we finalize the move and ramp up production, we expect the new, modern plant to support Utilimaster’s long-term growth and enable us to achieve our potential in delivery and service vehicles.”

The move to Bristol, located 20 miles east of Wakarusa, will consolidate Utilimaster’s operations into one facility from its current campus of 16 buildings. Spartan said that moving into a single plant, combined with lean manufacturing practices, will help enable Utilimaster improve product quality and manufacturing efficiency by reducing operating costs and eliminating non-value-added steps.

Forest River, based in Elkhart, is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is one of the largest manufacturers of RVs. With multiple manufacturing facilities throughout the Midwest and West Coast, Forest River also produces park model trailers, destination trailers, cargo trailers, commercial vehicles, buses, pontoons, restroom trailers and mobile offices.

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