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It’s been nearly five years since a massive fire temporarily crippled production at Champion Bus. What’s risen from the ashes earned praise from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials who toured the Imlay City facility on Monday (Feb. 9).

The Tri-City Times reported that President John Resnik guided MDOT Director Kirk Steudle and other state agency staff through the production floor where they saw buses being assembled. Champion staff then showed off one of their newest products, the LF Transport. The low floor bus has many features designed to help riders of all abilities to safely and easily board the vehicle.

“We’re on a pretty good run and we hope to keep that going,” Resnik said.

The company recently reached its goal of more than $100 million in annual sales and has amped up production. A decade ago, employees assembled about 14 buses per week. More recently, that figure stood at 30 but within the last eight months it’s improved to 42.

“Our entire operations are self-contained here. We do everything from this facility including research and development. That’s a big part of what’s driving our growth,” Resnik noted.

Champion Bus was acquired by Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV) from Thor Industries Inc. in 2013. Resnik said ASV hopes to take the company public in the near future.

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