Spartan Motors Inc. announced today (June 24) that it had named former automotive executive Tom Gorman as the company’s new chief operating officer.

In the newly created position, Gorman will oversee Spartan’s four business units while also implementing the company’s strategic growth initiatives.

According to a news release, Spartan Motors said Gorman is responsible for increasing productivity, improving overall business operations and helping Spartan strengthen its position in its market segments. The company manufactures custom chassis and vehicles for the RV, fire truck, ambulance, emergency-rescue and custom vehicle markets.

 “We are very pleased to welcome Tom to our senior management team with his proven track record of success in profitably managing multiple strategic business units and facilities, both domestically and internationally,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “Tom brings tremendous experience and knowledge to our management team and much needed depth. He understands the process of delivering highly engineered niche products using lean manufacturing principles and built exactly to customer specifications, and this background will be invaluable as we strive to transform existing and new market niches from commercial to custom.”

Gorman was previously president of business development and engineering at Southfield, Mich.-based Fluid Routing Solutions, where he managed sales, operations and engineering across four divisions. He also served as president and COO of North American operations for ZF Lemforder Corp., where he was responsible for nine manufacturing and assembly plants, and also spent more than 17 years at automotive and systems components maker Dana Corp., rising to business development director of the modules and systems division. Gorman earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit.

Spartan Motors Inc. reported sales of $844.4 million in 2008, and employs approximately 1,200 at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and South Dakota.