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Emergency vehicle and diesel pusher chassis supplier Spartan Motors Inc. earned $1.6 million during the third quarter, reversing a $10 million loss incurred a year earlier.

The adoption of lean manufacturing principles made a major contribution to the turnaround, said John Sztykiel, president and COO.

Spartan’s sales increased 5% during the three months ended Sept. 30 to $55.8 million. Sales of the company’s diesel pusher chassis to Class A motorhome manufacturers increased 13% during the July-through-September period.

“Sales of Class A diesel pusher motorhomes remain more recession-resistant than other segments of the RV market,” Sztykiel said. “We are prepared to deal with market conditions which should remain challenging over the next six months. But the continued growth in the number of Baby Boomers entering the RV lifestyle, in combination with cuts in interest rates, remains in our favor.

“We plan to unveil several new innovative products during the upcoming RV industry show in November (27-29),” Sztykiel continued. “Unlike other manufacturers who are cutting back, Spartan Motors will be ready with innovative products and features as new RV customers step into the market.”

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, Spartan earned a total of $4.3 million despite an 11% decline in sales revenue to $173 million.