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        Specialty vehicle maker Utilimaster Corp., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., has established upfit operations for Ford’s Transit van in Kansas City, Mo.

According to a press release, advantages of the upfit center for fleet companies include one point of release and a one-time freight expense from utilizing the Ford Ship-Thru delivery system. Operations have commenced with vans being upfitted for clients like DHL and Federal Express.

“The Utilimaster Kansas City upfit location reflects our focus on helping fleet managers reduce the total cost of ownership by maximizing convenience and providing customized vocational packages for their fleet operations,” said John Marshall, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Utilimaster.

Common vocational packages are stocked in Kansas City for quick delivery. Ford dealers can order the FedEx Ground and Home Delivery vocational packages that have been proven for more than a decade. To facilitate equipment orders and delivery, Utilimaster has created a Ford Transit upfit hotline.

The upfit center operates in a 146,000-square-foot facility.

“By offering such upfit services, Utilimaster’s customers can place the van directly into route operation without the additional time and freight cost of upfitting the van after it has been delivered to their Ford dealership,” stated Dave Stace, upfit operations manager for Utilimaster. “Our vocational packages were first installed more than a year ago with various fleet pilot vehicles and the packages are also available as parts kits for field installations.”