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Spartan Specialty Chassis and Vehicles, a business unit of Spartan Motors Inc., announced that it has entered into an exclusive U.S.-based assembly agreement with Grande West Transportation Group Inc., a Canadian bus manufacturer that designs, engineers, and manufactures purpose-built mid-size buses for transit authorities and commercial enterprises.

According to a press release, under terms of the contract, Spartan will manufacture Grande West’s Vicinity model buses, which will continue to satisfy the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Buy America requirements and reduce potential tariff exposures. The Grande West Vicinity bus achieved best-in-class results from the FTA Model Bus Testing Program, which measures structural durability and integrity, reliability, performance, maintainability, safety, noise, and fuel economy.

“This contract is a tremendous opportunity for Spartan to utilize our highly talented team and best-in-class facilities and processes to enter into a new sector of vehicle manufacturing,” said Steve Guillaume, president of Spartan Specialty Vehicles. “This partnership is a great fit for both companies as it leverages Spartan’s efficient and high-quality American manufacturing capability to support Grande West’s continued U.S. growth.”

Grande West’s Vicinity bus is the leading heavy-duty mid-size, true community transit bus that operates in many municipalities across Canada. The Vicinity bus costs significantly less than a traditional 40-foot bus and is considerably more durable than cut-away buses with truck chassis bases.