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Spartan’s Ickes to Head up RV Chassis Division

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Spartan Motors Inc. today (June 13) announced the promotion of Arthur Ickes to president of the Specialty Chassis and Vehicles (“SCV”) business unit, which includes responsibility for the RV chassis portfolio, specialty vehicles, defense and government, and aftermarket parts and assemblies. According to a press release, the appointment went into effect June 3.

Ickes will be assuming his new responsibilities while gradually transitioning out of his current role, which includes important near-term projects, such as completing the relocation of the Utilimaster Corp. operations to Bristol, Ind. from Wakarusa. Ickes will report to John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. Eric West, general manager of the RV business at Spartan Chassis, will report to Ickes.

The appointment of Ickes to lead SCV demonstrates “clear commitment on the part of Spartan Motors to the RV industry and business,” the release stated. In addition to significant commercial and business development leadership experience, he also is an operations subject matter expert.

“We remain very encouraged by the overall market opportunity in the RV industry and the recent growth we have realized over the last two years,” said Sztykiel. “Arthur’s leadership skills will provide an excellent opportunity for us to expand the scope of our business with the existing OEM partners in the RV industry.”

Ickes joined Spartan Motors as executive director of operations in 2005 and has served as senior vice president of operations since 2007. During his tenure as the head of all operations at Spartan Motors, the company “achieved continuous improvement of key manufacturing metrics and in many cases has developed world-class performance within the specialty vehicle industry,” according to Spartan.

Prior to joining the company, Ickes was the director of launch management for Plastech Engineered Products Inc., a manufacturer of precision injection molded components for the automotive industry. He earned a master’s from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.

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Spartan Motors Issues Cash Dividend on Stock

April 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Spartan Motors Inc. today (April 27) announced that its board has declared a semi-annual cash dividend of $0.05 per share of common stock.

The Charlotte, Mich.-based manufacturer of custom chassis, emergency-rescue and service and delivery vehicles reported its semi-annual dividend will be payable on June 14 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 10.

“The approval of this semi-annual dividend reflects the board’s confidence in the near and long-term future of Spartan’s operations, financial health and strategic direction,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “The board is committed to providing shareholders a constant return component for their investment and consistently builds the dividend into its annual capital plan.”

 

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Spartan Reports 2Q Loss, Details Realignment

July 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors Inc. today (July 26) announced operating results for its second quarter, reflecting actions taken to realign operations in response to the softened defense and motorhome markets, with continued investment in its emergency response and delivery and service markets.

Revenues were $99.4 million, down 14.1% compared to the same quarter of the prior year, driven by the overall economic climate and government budgetary constraints. Also contributing to the relative decline were increased prior year sales volumes related to emergency response orders placed in advance of the 2010 engine emissions change. These factors, combined with restructuring charges of $2.8 million and a product mix shift away from more profitable defense and service parts sales, resulted in a net loss of $2.2 million, or $0.07 per diluted share. The realignment is expected to reduce Spartan’s fixed costs by approximately $4.0 million on an annual basis. Exclusive of the one-time restructuring charges, adjusted net loss from continuing operations was $0.4 million, or $0.01 per diluted share.

Consolidated backlog improved 8% to $179.3 million over the first quarter of 2011, driven by order intake momentum in the delivery and service vehicle and emergency response chassis markets.

Second quarter highlights include:

• Net sales of $99.4 million (down 14.1% from Q2 2010)

• Adjusted gross margin of 14.6 percent of sales (down from 15.1% in Q2 2010)

• Adjusted operating expense of $15.3 million (down $0.2 million compared to Q2 2010)

• Restructuring charges of $1.8 million, net of tax, or $0.06 per diluted share

• Net loss of $2.2 million ($0.07 per diluted share), or adjusted net loss of $0.4 million ($0.01 per diluted share) before restructuring charges

• Cash from continuing operations of $8.4 million

• Ending consolidated backlog of $179.3 million (up 8% from Q1 2011)

• Total debt of $5.2 million

• Cash balance of $30.6 million (up $16.1 million from Q4 2010)

“While we anticipated another tough quarter, it was still a difficult experience,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “The restructuring costs were not easy, but they were necessary to resize our cost structure and position us for future growth and profitability. The motorhome market continues to be soft, and defense orders have been curtailed significantly in response to government budgetary cuts. However, the emergency response market, while down compared to 2010, is showing improvement, with better-than-expected order intake resulting in a stepped-up production schedule for the second half of 2011. Our delivery and service vehicle market continued its momentum with a 73% sales improvement and nearly double the backlog compared to the same quarter in 2010. We are very excited about the opportunity in this market and pleased with its contribution to our diversified product portfolio.

“Clearly, we still have challenges in some of our markets and must continue to reduce our cost of doing business. The good news is that our backlog has been up for two consecutive quarters, and we expect the second half of 2011 to be better than the first.”

To view the entire report click here.

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Spartan Relocating RV Chassis Unit to Indiana

June 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors Inc., a manufacturer of specialty chassis and vehicles, will be relocating its motorhome chassis manufacturing operations to Wakarusa, Ind., from Michigan and creating up to 60 new jobs by the second half of 2012.

The company, which acquired Wakarusa-based Utilimaster Corp. in 2009, plans to invest an estimated $1.8 million on machinery, equipment, tooling and facilities, according to a press release.

“It’s becoming well-known that Indiana’s automotive and RV workers are some of the best in the world and Utilimaster’s expansion in Elkhart County is further validation of the strength and value of the Hoosier work force,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Spartan Motors acquired more than 550,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity in it purchase of Utilimaster. Operations consist of four manufacturing and 15 sub-assembly, support and paint plants. The company will continue to employ its existing work force of nearly 600 associates at this location.

“Eighty-two percent of all recreational vehicles are manufactured in Northern Indiana,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “By moving production of RV chassis to Wakarusa, we can improve operational execution through alignment of strategic assets with the geographic location of our customer base. This initiative allows for effective and efficient collaboration with our customers, as well as reaffirms our commitment to the industry.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Spartan Motors up to $450,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $75,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. Elkhart County will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.

“John Forbes and team have been collaborative partners with the EDC of Elkhart County,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County. “We continue to see enhanced efficiencies and increased employment through their innovation. We are fortunate to have Utilimaster as a growing and expanding business in Elkhart County.”

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