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Spartan Motors Introduces New Rescue Vehicle

23 August 2002

Spartan Motors will introduce a new rescue vehicle and fire truck cab, and display some of their latest emergency vehicle innovations during the Fire-Rescue International (FRI) Conference and Exhibition, which begins tomorrow in Kansas City, Mo.

The Charlotte, Mich.-based manufacturer of custom rescue vehicles and heavy-duty chassis plans to unveil its new Homeland series of heavy rescue vehicles, as well as a new ""classic"" look for its custom fire truck cabs, to more than 15,000 fire service professionals from across the country during the three-day show. Spartan Motors, which has reported strong orders and backlog of its custom fire trucks, ambulances and chassis throughout 2002, will also display their best-selling new technology and vehicles during FRI, which is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

""As communities around the United States continue to heighten their emergency preparedness, we continue to see growing demand for all our products,"" said John Sztykiel, chief executive officer of Spartan Motors. ""Our chassis subsidiary, for example, has reported double-digit increases in both orders and backlog.

""We are pleased to introduce two new products during the FRI show, as well as display products which debuted earlier this year at the FDIC show in Indianapolis. The emergency rescue category represents strong growth potential for Spartan Motors as favorable demographics and increased community support drive stronger sales. We remain committed to bringing innovative new ideas to the markets we serve -- and those markets are responding with strong order interest.""

Chief among these new products is the Homeland series, a line of heavy rescue vehicles built by Quality Manufacturing, Inc.

Spartan Motors Chassis (SMC) will also unveil a second style for its new Gladiator cab, which was introduced during the 2002 Fire Department Instructors Conference in April. The Classic look joins the Evolution as one of two front-end options for the Gladiator. The Classic modifies the molded composite front end of the Gladiator while maintaining the features that made the new custom chassis and cab a success at FDIC, including easier serviceability and improved engine performance.

""We wanted to give fire departments a greater range of looks and choices when it came to the Gladiator, which has been one of our best-received new product introductions ever,"" said Rich Schalter, president of SMC. ""The Gladiator is 30-40 percent easier to maintain than other chassis currently on the market because our engineers have designed in easier access to key engine features, which reduces vehicle downtime.""

SMC reported that orders for its custom fire truck chassis and cabs for the first seven months of 2002 are running nearly 62 percent higher than for the same period in 2001.






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