updated 3/24/2011 9:46:54 AM ET 2011-03-24T13:46:54

INDIANAPOLIS, March 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan Chassis, Inc., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), today kicked off its exhibition at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) with several new products and broad market momentum following a landmark Partnership Meeting in February with its Dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). The product announcements include the Spartan Force, a new emergency response cab and chassis which is purpose-built for the needs of today's emergency response market, a Secondary Power System (SPS) which dramatically reduces fuel consumption and delivers green benefits, and an expanded engine portfolio which now includes Navistar's MaxxForce® 13, a 380 HP clean diesel which utilizes advanced in-cylinder emissions technology.

The Spartan Force™

The FDIC tradeshow marks the launch of the Spartan Force, the newest emergency response cab and chassis in the Spartan lineup, which can be configured as either a rescue or pumper and offers advancements in performance, safety and service. The Spartan Force is pre-configured, pre-engineered, and aggressively priced for departments facing aging apparatus fleets and constrained budgets. Powered by a 380 HP Cummins ISC 8.3L VG turbo diesel engine, the Spartan Force offers a spacious cab, flat floor and a 10-inch raised roof with four doors and seating for six, as well as a lifetime frame and cross member warranty.

Secondary Power System

The SPS is offered on the Gladiator and delivered an estimated 51% fuel consumption improvement in testing conducted with the Dallas Fire Department. In addition to cost savings, the SPS technology reduces exhaust emissions and noise pollution- a great safety feature for Fire Fighters working on scene. The SPS allows for the use of all onboard electrical and HVAC loads with the Main Power Unit (MPU) turned off. It is powered by a 35 - 44 HP engine and delivers consistent voltage and frequency at output levels of 8.5 or 16kW. The SPS dramatically reduces the MPU idle time which in turn enhances its service life and reduces maintenance needs and costs.

The Navistar MaxxForce 13

Spartan Chassis recently announced a multi-year supply agreement with the Navistar Engine Group allowing for the expansion of clean diesel engine offerings on its signature emergency response cab and chassis; the Gladiator. 

The EPA 2010-compliant MaxxForce 13 Big Bore engine features Navistar's advanced in-cylinder emissions technology which minimizes the requirements for after treatment components, fluids and weight, and improves space available for critical body applications such as equipment storage.

"As a result of the ongoing economically-sensitive environment, many communities are purchasing vehicles that just do not meet their needs in the effective and efficient delivery of emergency response services," said Ed Dobbs, Senior Vice President, Spartan Chassis. "Our exhibit highlights new products that offer enhanced performance, lower cost and reduced consumption," said Dobbs.

FDIC attendees are encouraged to visit the Spartan Chassis display (exhibit #1806) in the Indiana Convention Center, March 24-26 to tour the Spartan Force and for an opportunity to win the Spartan Chassis VIP experience.

About Spartan Chassis, Inc.:

Spartan Chassis, Inc. is a world-class leader in the engineering, manufacturing and marketing of chassis and aftermarket parts for emergency-response, recreational vehicle (RV), and defense and specialty vehicles. End users recognize and request the Spartan Chassis brand, which consistently delivers superior performance, exceptional safety ratings and innovations which distinguish us from the competition. Visit Spartan Chassis at www.spartanchassis.com .

About Spartan Motors, Inc.

Spartan Motors, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle (RV) emergency-response, defense, government services, delivery and service markets. The Company's brand names - SpartanTM, Crimson FireTM, Crimson Fire AerialsTM and Utilimaster® - are known for quality, value, service and first-to-market innovation. The Company employs approximately 1,600 at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana and Texas. Spartan reported sales of $430 million in 2009 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at www.spartanmotors.com .

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

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