Spartan Motors Inc. reported a net loss for its third quarter on a 6% decline in sales while RV revenues improved 20.9%.
The Charlotte, Mich.-based company, parent to Spartan Chassis Inc., posted third-quarter revenues of $112.9 million compared to $120.3 million a year ago. Spartan reported a net loss of $0.3 million for the third quarter, or 1 cent per diluted share, compared to net income of $3.2 million, or 10 cents per diluted share in the third quarter of 2011.
Excluding pre-tax restructuring charges of $1.6 million, Spartan posted adjusted operating earnings for the quarter of 2 cents per diluted share.
CEO John Sztykiel noted, “Spartan continued its trend of generating an adjusted operating profit through the third quarter of 2012 as our Emergency Response and Specialty Vehicles units posted growth in revenue and order backlog compared to the third quarter of 2011.
“The improved performance of these units underscores the importance of our diversification strategy as the growth in these segments partially offset a slower quarter in our Delivery & Service Vehicles unit. We are executing our plan and continuing our momentum in returning our ER and Specialty Vehicles units to growth and taking action to improve our operations.”
A breakdown by division showed:
• The Specialty Vehicles segment generated revenue of $23.9 million in the third quarter of 2012, up 0.8% from $23.8 million in the year-ago third quarter. Most of the increase came from higher sales of recreational vehicle chassis, which totaled $17.1 million for the third quarter of 2012, an increase of $3 million, or 20.9%, over the third quarter of 2011. RV chassis sales increased as RV manufacturers using Spartan’s custom chassis increased their sales and market share during the third quarter of 2012.
• Spartan’s Emergency Response Vehicles segment, which includes both the Emergency Response Chassis and Emergency Response Bodies operations, posted a sales gain of $4.6 million, or 12.9%, in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the prior year. Sales of Spartan’s custom chassis accounted for most of the increase, as the market gradually recovered and responded favorably to Spartan’s new product offerings. During the quarter, Spartan shipped the first few ER chassis equipped with the Spartan APS advanced airbag restraint system.
• The Delivery & Service Vehicles segment posted third quarter 2012 revenue of $49.0 million, down from $61.2 million in the third quarter of 2011. The revenue decline was largely due to the decline in aftermarket accessory sales during the most recent third quarter. Vehicle sales in Q3 2012 were adversely affected to a lesser extent by a decline in walk-in van sales compared to Q3 2011 when DSV shipped a record number of units to a major customer. Shortages of some materials also pushed out production of some walk-in van units beyond Q3 2012.
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Spartan Motors Inc. today (Aug. 2) announced operating results for the second quarter of 2012. Revenues totaled $114.4 million, up 15% from the second quarter of 2011. Spartan reported net income for the second quarter of $2.4 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.2 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2011. Excluding restructuring charges of $0.7 million, Spartan posted adjusted operating earnings of $0.08 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2012, versus an adjusted net loss of $0.01 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2011.
CEO John Sztykiel noted, “Our strategy of blended growth combined with improved operating performance is the right plan for Spartan. Our quarterly results showed the progress we have made on both fronts. We expect to make further progress in operational improvements as we relocate Utilimaster’s operations to Bristol (Ind.) and the Reach to Charlotte (Mich.), among other operational initiatives.”
A breakdown by segment showed:
• The Delivery & Service Vehicles (“DSV”) unit posted second quarter 2012 revenue of $47.8 million, up 23.2% from $38.8 million in the second quarter of 2011. Sales of walk-in vans, truck bodies and aftermarket products including keyless entry, all rose from the prior-year second quarter. Vehicles sales rose to $25.0 million from $22.9 million the previous year while aftermarket parts and field service solutions revenue totaled $22.7 million compared to $15.8 million.
• Spartan’s Emergency Response (“ERC”) and Recreational & Specialty (“RSC”) chassis businesses posted higher sales during the second quarter of 2012 compared to the prior-year period. Sales at the ERC unit totaled $28 million in the most recent quarter, up from $22.2 million in the second quarter of 2011. Revenue for RSC increased to $16.2 million in the second quarter of 2012 versus $15.2 million in the prior-year second quarter.
• Sales at Spartan’s Emergency Response Vehicles (“ERV”) group rose to $15.6 million in the second quarter of 2012, from $13.9 million in the second quarter of 2011. ERV sales grew from the prior year despite a short-term lack of commercial chassis availability during the quarter. One of the two suppliers affected returned to more normal chassis production toward the end of the second quarter of 2012, thereby alleviating most of the chassis shortage. The shortage of commercial chassis negatively impacted second quarter 2012 revenue by approximately $1.2 million.
Spartan’s gross margin excluding restructuring items was 16.9% in the second quarter of 2012 versus 14.5% in the second quarter of 2011. Positively impacting gross profit and gross margin were higher chassis production volumes, favorable mix at Utilimaster due to higher aftermarket parts sales, plus improved operating efficiency throughout the Company. Including restructuring items of $0.6 million in the second quarter of 2012 and $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2011, gross margin was 16.4% and 12.7% for the second quarter of 2012 and 2011, respectively. Restructuring charges in the second quarter of 2012 were mainly related to the relocation of DSV’s Utilimaster operations to Bristol, Ind.
Operating expenses in the second quarter of 2012 totaled $14.8 million, or 12.9% of sales, excluding restructuring charges, compared to $15.3 million, or 15.4% of sales, in the second quarter of 2011. Restructuring charges in the second quarter of 2012 were $0.1 million, or 0.1% of sales, versus $1.1 million, or 1.1% of sales in the second quarter of 2011. Restructuring charges for the most recent quarter were due primarily to the transfer of Reach walk-in van production to Spartan’s Charlotte, Mich. facility. Including restructuring charges, operating expense in the second quarter of 2012 was $14.9 million or 13.0% of sales, compared to $16.3 million or 16.4% of sales in the prior-year second quarter.
Regarding the company’s outlook, CFO Joe Nowicki stated, “Our expectations for the year remain largely unchanged. We expect 2012 revenue to increase from 2011 in the mid- to upper-single digits, a slight increase from our last update. We are adjusting our projected gross margin for the year down slightly, to the 14.5 – 15% range, with operating expenses of 12 – 12.5%. For the year, we expect revenue growth in our Emergency Response businesses as well as at Utilimaster, but remind investors that Utilimaster’s margins will be negatively impacted by the completion of our keyless entry program in July and less efficient vehicle production until the relocation to Bristol is complete. We continue to move forward with our initiatives and expect to generate continued profitability in future quarters.”
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Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors Inc. today (May 1) reported a 25% increase in revenue for its first quarter while the company incurred a net loss, primarily due to restructuring costs from its Utilimaster Corp. subsidiary.
Revenue during the period totaled $118.8 million, an increase of 25% from $95.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. Revenue growth was led by the delivery and service vehicles segment, which posted sales of $58.8 million, up 149.2% from $23.6 million the previous year. Motorhome chassis sales generated by the Spartan Chassis Inc. subsidiary were $18.5 million.
Spartan reported a net loss for the first quarter of $2.0 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $898,000, or 3 cents per diluted share, the year prior. Excluding restructuring charges of $5.4 million, Spartan posted adjusted operating earnings of 4 cents per diluted share.
Most of the restructuring cost resulted from the impaired asset value of Utilimaster’s Wakarusa, Ind., production complex. Management expects annual cost reductions of $4 million or more after Utilimaster’s relocation to Bristol, Ind., is complete.
John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, noted, “Our blended growth strategy consists of organic growth, alliances and acquisitions, and Spartan’s improved results for the first quarter illustrate our strategy is sound. Beginning in late 2009, the acquisition of Utilimaster diversified our revenue stream. We then generated organic growth by developing new products for Utilimaster. Now, with the steps we recently announced with new partners Gimaex and Renault, we intend to strengthen the Spartan brand further and drive additional revenue growth through alliances.”
Adjusted gross profit for the first quarter of 2012 was $17.4 million, excluding a previously disclosed restructuring charge of $3.6 million. Excluding the restructuring charge, Spartan posted an adjusted gross margin of 14.6% of sales compared to 13.6% in the first quarter of 2011. On a GAAP basis, Spartan reported gross profit of $13.7 million, compared to gross profit of $13.0 million a year ago.
“Spartan continued to follow its operating plan during the first quarter, which translated into improved operating performance,” said Joe Nowicki, CFO of Spartan Motors. “Our Utilimaster business was particularly strong during the quarter, both in vehicle sales and aftermarket parts. We also believe we outperformed major competitors in the emergency response market and continued to gain share during the first quarter of 2012. While our results for the quarter showed progress compared to last year, we recognize that we still have much room for improvement. As we increase our focus on improving our operational efficiency, we expect to drive margins higher.”
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Spartan Chassis Inc., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., announced that its Supplier Performance And Review Committee (SPARC) recently recognized 12 top-performing suppliers during the 10th Annual Supplier Conference held March 21 near the company’s headquarters in Charlotte, Mich.
According to a press release, rhe suppliers honored consistently embody Spartan Chassis’ values and maintain an unwavering commitment to quality, on-time delivery and excellent customer support.
“Spartan Motors is committed to providing value to our customers on a consistent basis,” said Jeremy Wilson, vice president of supply chain management. “Our supply base plays a critical role as they consistently deliver high quality products and do so together with reliable service which enhances the value of our product portfolio.”
The companies recognized include: Allison Transmission, Indianapolis; F.B. Wright Co., Kentwood, Mich.; Formed Solutions Inc., Holland, Mich.; Harris Battery Co. Inc., Bolivar, Ohio; Indiana Mills & MFG, Westerfield, Ind.; JWB Components, Kentwood, Mich.; Kissling Electrotec Inc., Fairfax, Va.; Molded Plastic Industries, Holt, Mich.; Parker Hannifin Corp., Portland, Mich.; Precision Cable Assemblies LLC, Brookfield, Wis.; Professional Metal Works, East Lansing, Mich.; TriMark Corp., New Hampton, Iowa.
Spartan Chassis Inc. exhibited two concept chassis at the recently completed National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky, that unwrap a growing trend in motorhomes: American RV buyers are starting to think smaller is better.
According to Torque News, this is because motorhome manufacturers have been aggressively seeking ways to improve their wheels that can drive demand. Current owners are looking to downsize their RVs and prospective buyers are interested in purchasing entry-level units.
“There are several key factors that are driving change in both the Class A and Class C motorhome markets,” said Dave Snitgen, vice president of recreational and specialty chassis at Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Chassis, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc. “Given the various forces at work within our economy, such as higher fuel prices, a trend has emerged towards downsizing by both first-time and repeat buyers. Spartan Chassis has created two chassis concepts that we are confident will define the future design direction of the marketplace.”
Both concepts, a 32-foot Class A chassis and a 25-foot Class C chassis, capture key design features such as flexibility and adaptability, a Spartan spokesman said.
32-foot Concept Chassis
Torque News reported that a 2010 study by Harris Interactive indicates strong interest in smaller and more fuel-efficient RVs. To target this growth within the Class A segment, Spartan developed a 32-foot concept truck that is a lightweight, maneuverable mid-size, diesel-pusher chassis. The concept features improved fuel efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint, as well as the traditional benefits of a rear diesel engine chassis such as low engine noise, increased power options, and carrying capacity, according to a statement from Spartan.
Additional features include a Navistar MaxxForce 7 turbo-diesel engine, Allison 1000MH electronic transmission, Cummins Onan 6k generator, 22,000-pound GVWR, high-strength, low-alloy steel construction with 50,000 psi minimum yield, hydraulic disc brakes and a polymer diesel fuel tank.
25-foot Concept Chassis
With more than 40 million disabled adults living in the United States and a growing baby boomer generation, there is a need for a purpose-built, low-floor platform design that offers ease of entry and exit with the option of including an ADA-compliant ramp.
The concept incorporates front and rear self-leveling air suspensions with 4-corner kneeling. The kneeling feature, available at the touch of a single switch, reduces entry step height to a level never before seen on an RV. This concept chassis provides manufacturers with the opportunity to expand their business to include RVs for customers with mobility and health concerns.
Additional features include a Chevrolet G4500 gas and diesel chassis, air-ride suspension with sway bars (front and rear), electronic control kneeling (front and rear), a premium air dryer system with spin-on eco-friendly filtration and a three-year/50,000 mile limited chassis warranty.
“Since 1985, Spartan Chassis has developed significant technological innovations that have changed the RV industry,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan. “We continue that history of innovation with the presentation of our vision of chassis design. We are excited.”
Spartan Chassis Inc., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., will debut two new chassis concepts to the recreational vehicle market at the upcoming 49th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
According to a press release, the innovative design concepts – a 32-foot Class A chassis and a 25-foot Class C platform – are expected to appeal to manufacturers targeting current owners looking to downsize their RV and prospective buyers interested in purchasing entry-level units.
“Manufacturers are finding opportunities within the marketplace for growth through the introduction of smaller, light-weight, fuel-efficient recreational vehicles,” said Dave Snitgen, vice president of recreational and specialty chassis at Spartan Chassis. “Spartan Chassis is embracing this change and is focused on creating new product options that dovetail with evolving market and customer needs.”
A 2010 study by Harris Interactive indicates strong interest in smaller and more fuel efficient RVs. In an effort to target this growth within the Class A segment, Spartan Chassis developed the 32-foot concept, which is a lightweight, maneuverable mid-size, diesel-pusher chassis. The concept features improved fuel efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint, as well as the traditional benefits of a rear diesel engine chassis such as low engine noise, increased power options and carrying capacity. Additional features include:
• Navistar MaxxForce 7 turbo-diesel engine.
• Allison 1000MH electronic transmission.
• Cummins Onan 6k generator.
• 22,000 lb. GVWR.
• High-strength, low-alloy steel construction: 50,000 psi minimum yield.
• Hydraulic disc brakes.
• Polymer diesel fuel tank.
According to Spartan, the 25-foot concept chassis addresses the more than 40 million disabled adults living in the United States and a growing Baby Boomer generation. “There is a need in the marketplace for a purpose-built, low-floor platform design that offers ease of entry and egress with the option of including an ADA compliant ramp,” the release stated. Features include:
• Chevy G4500, gas and diesel chassis.
• Air-ride suspension with sway bars (front and rear).
• Electronic control kneeling (front and rear).
• Available in multiple lengths (24, 26, and 28 feet).
• High-strength, low-alloy steel construction: 50,000 psi minimum yield.
• Powder-coated frame for extended life and corrosion resistance. • Premium air dryer system with spin-on eco-friendly filtration.
• 3 year/50,000 mile limited chassis warranty.
The Recreation Vehicle Education Safety Foundation (RVSEF) will take on an expanded role educating consumers about RVs and the RV lifestyle during a Sept. 13-16 clinc prior to the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa.
“The number of RVers attending rallies is down, but the percentage of people attending our weighing and driving seminars actually is up,” said Walter Cannon, executive director of the Merrit Island, Fla.-based RVSEF.
Seminars will be presented by Workhorse Custom Chassis Inc., Spartan Chassis Inc., Freightliner Custom Chassis Inc., Cummins Inc.’s Onan generator division and Gary Motley of Motley RV Repair, Oklahoma City, Okla., in addition to the Geeks on Tour, who will teach Internet-related subjects, Nick Russell, publisher of Gypsy Journal, an RV lifestyle magazine, and Mac McCoy, who will instruct on fire and personal safety.
Cannon’s foundation has a full-time team on the road attending about 40 rallies a year sponsoring safety seminars focused on weighing loaded RVs and providing weight-safety instruction. RVSEF — the successor organization to “A’Weigh We Go” founded by John Anderson in Chucky, Tenn. — weighed about 1,500 motorhomes and towable RVs last year.
“We are seeing a decrease in the number of RVers who are overloading their tires,” Cannon said. “The tire manufacturers … have convinced RV manufacturers to install tires for how RVers are using their coaches.”
E-mails promoting the Pennsylvania clinic have gone out to potential RVers visiting the Go RVing Coalition’s gorving.com website, with another round of e-mail and postal mail followups planned early this summer.
The RVSEF clinic at the Wildwood Conference Center at Harrisburg (Pa.) Community College, in a manner of speaking, will fill a vacancy left by the poplar Life On Wheels program, which shut its doors in October following the death of founder Gaylord Maxwell. Maxwell sponsored his last Life on Wheels conference the week before the 2008 Hershey Show.
Dry camping for 100 rigs will be available at the college, and those attending for $249 for the first person and $199 for the second also will receive a three-day pass to the Hershey Show Sept. 16-20. Retail days are Sept. 14-15.
“The general need for a program like this is two-pronged,” Cannon said. “For the new owners, it enables them to understand their RV and the RV lifestyle so that they can get the most enjoyment out of their RV dollar.
“The second thing is that 30% of the attendees at Life on Wheels were non-RV owners. They were educating themselves about RVs before committing themselves to the expense. And about 90% of them purchased an RV during the next six months. It wasn’t a dealer or manufacturer talking to them, and they left Gaylord’s clinics feeling that they had the tools to make a decision about how to spend their money wisely.”