broke ground April 19 on a new $5.5 million plant in Charlotte, Mich., that will manufacture and assemble diesel delivery trucks for Isuzu North America Corporation. The 85,000-square-foot expansion will create between 50 to 100 new jobs, and represents an ongoing relationship between Spartan Motors and Isuzu that began in 2011.
The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and will manufacture the Isuzu F-Series truck. The F-Series, says Spartan leadership, marks an expansion of Isuzu's product offering into class 6 on-highway commercial trucks. Spartan Motors began producing the N-series gasoline-powered trucks for Isuzu several years ago, with the 20,000th vehicle rolling off the company's assembly line in April 2015.
The new plant will add to the portfolio of facilities on Spartan's Charlotte campus. The state-of-the-art facility will be built on Reynolds Road at the former location of a company that manufactured storm doors and windows a decade ago.
"We've been able to grow the campus here in Charlotte with acquisitions of properties and buildings," says President of Specialty Vehicles Steve Guillaume. "We have a great working relationship with the city, and it's been a good collaborative relationship. We're rooted in the Lansing area and continue to draw good talent. We've been very happy with Michigan."
Spartan worked closely with the city of Charlotte and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to formalize plans for the new plant dedicated to producing Isuzu products. The facility will feature Spartan's flexible production line that enables the company to quickly scale up or scale down to accommodate changing business cycles or customer demand. Guillaume says Spartan is currently projecting the initial demand for F-Series trucks will be 3,000 per year.
Spartan Motors opened in 1975 as a firetruck chassis company in Charlotte. Since then, the company has expanded into segments that include firetruck apparatus, military vehicles, specialty chassis, recreational vehicle motorhomes, and delivery and service vehicles. Spartan employs about 1,700 people at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Indiana. The new jobs created by the addition of the upcoming facility will add to the 700 employees who currently work on the Charlotte campus.
Source: Steve Guillaume, Division President – Specialty Vehicles, Spartan Motors
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
Got a story idea for Capital Gains? Email Ann Kammerer here.