Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors Inc., a leader in specialty chassis and vehicle design, manufacturing and assembly, announced today (Feb. 21) that its Spartan Fleet Vehicles and Services (FVS) business unit — which encompasses the Utilimaster brand — has stopped development on the United States Postal Service (USPS) Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) Program as a prime contractor in the functional prototype development project and has sought withdrawal from the USPS.
According to the announcement, Spartan, which is also the parent company of Spartan Chassis Inc., is continuing efforts to support this project and will partner with a leading USPS prototype award participant, to provide interior cargo solutions specific for the USPS’s needs.
“As a global leader in fleet vehicle design and production, we were honored to be among a select group of vehicle makers to win the USPS prototype award,” said Daryl Adams, president and chief executive officer of Spartan Motors. “However, when we took a close look at the economics as a result of our inability to reach a satisfactory agreement with our commercial chassis supplier, further participation in the program as the primary body builder did not meet our baseline financial targets. Working closely with one of the USPS prototype award participants will enable us to participate in this significant NGDV program without the related upfront developmental capital requirement, while building what we’re best at for the fleet market – custom interior cargo management solutions.”
Utilimaster has produced route delivery and other vehicles for the USPS since 1999. As previously announced, Utilimaster was one of six vehicle manufacturers selected to receive the prototype award as part of a comprehensive USPS Request for Proposal (RFP) process. After a thorough evaluation, in-depth supplier consideration, and extensive financial modeling, Spartan has determined that remaining in the USPS NGDV project as a cargo management supplier provides a better return on capital, which better serves the company and its shareholders.
“We would like to extend our most sincere thanks to the USPS for considering and selecting Spartan to take part in the evolution of their fleet,” continued Adams. “We look forward to assisting with development effort and providing the USPS with high quality cargo management solutions that best meet the needs of their business, while ensuring improved safety, productivity, and performance for their route delivery personnel.”