updated 3/11/2011 3:15:49 PM ET 2011-03-11T20:15:49

CHARLOTTE, Mich., March 11, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan Chassis, Inc., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), today reported exceptional results following the Spartan Chassis Annual Meeting, which is broadly attended by Fire Apparatus Dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from across the United States and Canada.

The impact of the event was measured using conventional quantitative research techniques and was completed by 75% of the event attendees, which is far greater than the norm for events of this nature. The survey results capture the perceptions of Spartan Chassis Dealers and OEMs:

Overall customer satisfaction 95% Very/Extremely Satisfied
Satisfaction with product innovation 87% Very/Extremely Satisfied
Satisfaction with overall product line            100% Very/Extremely Satisfied

The event consisted of eight training classes, as well as updates on topical industry subjects such as emissions, regulations and business trends. Spartan focused on improving the relevance of all content and sharpening the delivery and effectiveness of each presentation. The classes were conducted by a two-person team consisting of a Spartan Chassis Regional Sales Manager and a member of the company's technical or functional staff (e.g., engineering or customer service).

"Given that we work day-in and day-out with a finite set of product categories, it is easy to overlook the importance of effectively training on the many 'why buy Spartan' value points," said Ed Dobbs, Senior Vice President, Spartan Chassis. "Our Dealers and OEMs work across multiple product categories each day, and we can't underestimate the value of refreshing their knowledge of chassis-specific subjects."

Not all the company's announcements are for public disclosure, but the core announcements included: 

  • Introduction of the Spartan Force™, a new pre-configured, pre-engineered fire apparatus cab and chassis, which is well suited to the current fiscal reality of the Emergency Response market
  • Development of expanded chassis safety systems, which will reset the definition of safety in the Emergency Response industry
  • Expansion of the engine portfolio offered by Spartan Chassis with the addition of the MaxxForce 13, a new clean diesel from the Navistar Group 
  • Regional sponsorship of an industry-specific sporting/entertainment event known as the Combat Challenge – to take place on July 22-23, 2011 in Charlotte, MI
  • Introduction of a new customer experience center which communicates the company's proprietary technologies and customization capabilities
  • Introduction of a Hybrid Chassis featuring a Secondary Power Unit (SPU) developed for the Dallas Fire Department to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions by allowing the use of all electrical and HVAC loads with the main engine off
  • Expanded marketing support programs to assist dealers and OEMs in closing sales at a higher rate

"Spartan Chassis clearly invested a lot of incremental time, resources and effort in preparing for and executing this year's meeting and it paid off for them. Spartan Chassis defined what industry leader meant in Emergency Response over 30 years ago and reclaimed that mind-share position," said Tom Gorman, Chief Operating Officer, Spartan Motors. "These announcements were particularly well received by the audience, both Dealers and OEMs alike."

About Spartan Chassis, Inc.

Spartan Chassis Inc., a subsidiary of Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), is a world-class leader in the engineering, manufacturing and marketing of custom chassis. Fire departments recognize and request the Spartan® Chassis brand, which consistently delivers superior performance, exceptional safety ratings and technological innovations that distinguish it from our other chassis. Learn more at www.spartanchassis.com .

CONTACT: Russell Chick
         Director of Corporate Marketing
         Spartan Motors, Inc.
         517.997.3852

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