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Although Spartan Chassis Inc. employees were applauded by the U.S. military Tuesday (Oct. 14) for their work on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Joint Program, officials for the Charlotte, Mich.-based company also acknowledged that its motorhome chassis business was challenged.
WILX, Lansing, reported that John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, noted, “There have been some temporary layoffs and there will probably be some full-time. It’s been extremely difficult for us.”
Spartan Chassis, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., is the North American leader in MRAP vehicle production and it supplies more than 20 different, threat-specific MRAPs for the military.
While that’s been profitable, other divisions aren’t doing as well.
“Our RV division, on the other hand, is a challenge,” explained Sztykiel. “If it’s big, people are reluctant to buy it or drive it.”
Though the future of Spartan Motors is unclear, the company said there will always be a need for its emergency response vehicles.
“Once every 1.4 seconds, there is a call for help so, I tell you, emergency rescue – that business is great,” Sztykiel says. “And it will continue to be great.”
And despite dark economic times, Sztykiel says Spartan’s future is still bright.
“The vehicles will change, or will go to other countries, but all that you see here is not going to stop,” he says. “We’re going to produce something else.”
Sztykiel says Spartan has defense contracts in the works, and that the company is doing all it can to survive.