> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Operating improvements and strong gains in the RV and emergency-rescue markets helped Spartan Motors Inc. double its earnings in the third quarter.
Spartan, a supplier of diesel engine chassis to motorhome manufacturers, reported net earnings of $3.1 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $1.6 million a year earlier. Its total sales revenue in the July-through-September period also increased 15% to $64.1 million.
In the first nine months of this year, Spartan’s net profit more than doubled to $9.5 million, compared with $4.3 million a year earlier. Its total sales revenue climbed 13% higher to $196.1 million.
“We are outpacing the overall RV market and will continue to look for ways to improve our product quality and offer RV manufacturers, dealers and consumers innovative new products and highly desired benefits that will enhance the Spartan experience,” said John Sztykiel, CEO.
Spartan’s motorhome chassis sales increased 29.2% in the third quarter, reflecting the double-digit growth in the diesel-pusher segment, Sztykiel said. Sales of Spartan’s highline motorhome chassis, which the company defines as those equipped with engines having greater than 330 hp, also increased 18% when compared with last year’s third quarter.
Spartan will introduce “a number of new and upgraded products, along with new customer service and dealer initiatives” during the RV industry’s National Trade Show in Louisville Dec. 3-5, Sztykiel continued. “Many of the innovations and product enhancements introduced at last year’s show were the drivers for the company’s RV sales gains in 2002.”
The company believes the innovations unveiled this year at Louisville will provide it with an “opportunity for market share penetration” in 2003, he said.
“Spartan Motors will be very focused on increasing its market share — not by buying it, but by taking market share — through new products, new service initiatives and increased focus on sales and marketing,” Sztykiel said. “Our drive is to grow sales by outexecuting the competition. Even so, we will not lose our focus on delivering a great customer experience, quality products and bottom-line profitability.”