Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 9, 2013

RV company buying Wakarusa Utilimaster complex


THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — Spartan Motors Inc. has sold the majority of its Utilimaster facility in Wakarusa to recreational vehicle manufacturerr Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company.

Utilimaster is in the process of moving its Utilimaster division to a facility in Bristol. Utilimaster customizes truck chassis by building and installing cargo boxes. Clients include FedEx and UPS.

“The sale of the Wakarusa facility represents an important step in the transition of Utilimaster’s operations to Bristol,” said John Sztykiel, president and chief executive officer of Spartan Motors, 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 company said the move of Bristol will consolidate operations into one facility from its current campus of 16 buildings. “Moving into a single plant, combined with lean manufacturing practices, will help enable Utilimaster to improve product quality and manufacturing efficiency by reducing operating costs and eliminating non-value-added steps,” the company said.

Spartan Motors is headquartered in Michigan and Forest River is headquartered in Elkhart and has manufacturing facilities throughout Elkhart County.