MIAMI, Feb. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan ERV (Emergency Response Vehicles), a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), hosted its annual Sales Training Conference Sunday-Wednesday, Feb. 3-6. The annual Sales Training Conference is a critical component in the training of Spartan ERV's dealers and sales managers. The attendees discuss current innovations as well as learn about other planned product introductions in various training classes. Spartan ERV recognized 10 dealers during the event in Miami, Fla., as well as celebrated the success from 2012. Dennis Schneider, President, Spartan Emergency Response, opened the week by thanking the dealers for their support in 2012, which resulted in an increase in orders (units). "Last year was a very good year for us at Spartan ERV," Schneider said. "Looking ahead, our joint venture with Gimaex will allow us to sell even more products in more markets. Also, we have seen a great response for our Advanced Protection System, as over 70% of orders now include the system." Spartan ERV Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bill Doebler echoed Schneider's statements with the dealers. Doebler recapped 2012 and talked about the company's direction moving into 2013 and beyond. "Thank you all for your continued commitment to the Spartan ERV brand," Doebler said. "At Spartan ERV, your vision and strategy help us to better align ourselves to be more competitive in the market. We value each and every one of your ideas and suggestions for how to better position this company for years to come." Year after year, dealers are eager to get back to the sales conference to learn more about the Company's latest innovations. "The biggest thing I see year after year at the Sales Training Conference is progress and innovation," said Brian Cudaback, Apparatus Manger at Metro Fire Apparatus Specialists, Inc. "This is what we want in the field. We want to be No. 1 in the market, so it is good to come in here and see someone that is listening to us about changes."
A highlight of the week was a presentation from Louis Devaleix, Chief Executive Officer, Gimaex Americas, regarding Spartan ERV's joint venture with Gimaex. Spartan ERV and Gimaex collaborated in the development of the Telstar, a telescopic and articulated aerial platform, among other projects under way.In addition to Spartan ERV's scheduled classes, dealers attended an exhibitor event from various suppliers. Spartan ERV saw a growth in total exhibitors from last year's event, along with an increased number of attendees. Kent Cummings, Sales Manager with Fire Equipment Services, who attended his first Sales Training Conference, was impressed with how interactive and informative the conference was for the dealers. "From an outside perspective with this as my first Spartan conference, this is by far leaps and bounds above any other sales training event I have attended," said Cummings. "From a presentation standpoint, it's great to see Spartan individuals doing presentations on Spartan products; we aren't feeling pushed off as an afterthought." Along with the scheduled classes, attendees gathered around the hotel's outdoor pool Sunday evening to watch the Super Bowl and cheer on their respective team. The 2012 award winners are: Dealership of the Year Ferexpo S.A. (45 units) Salesman of the Year Pino Natale, Dependable Emergency Vehicles (42 units) Aerial Top Gun Metro Fire Apparatus Specialists, Inc. (8 aerials) Most Stock Units Sold Dependable Emergency Vehicles (10 units) Rookie of the Year Colden Enterprises, Inc. (7 units) Most Improved Dealer Ferexpo S.A. 10-Year Longevity C & S Specialty, Inc. New Dealerships Colden Enterprises, Inc. Fire Equipment Services First Choice Fire and Safety, Inc. Utility Equipment Service, Inc. Anchor-Richey Emergency Vehicle Services, Inc. About Spartan ERV Spartan ERV™ is a leading manufacturer of custom fire trucks and other rescue vehicles. A business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), Spartan ERV™ is committed to quality, performance and innovation. Drawing on more than 130 years of excellence in fire truck manufacturing, Spartan ERV™ manufactures a full line of pumpers, tankers, rescues, aerials, quick-attack/urban interface vehicles and other emergency-rescue vehicles from its facilities in Florida, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. For more information, visit www.spartanerv.com. About Spartan Motors Spartan Motors, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle, emergency response, government services, defense, and delivery and service markets. The company's brand names - Spartan™, Spartan ERV™ and Utilimaster® - are known for quality, performance, service and first-to-market innovation. The company employs approximately 1,700 associates at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana, Florida and Texas. Spartan reported sales of $426 million in 2011 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at www.spartanmotors.com. This release contains several forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements concerning our business, strategic position, financial strength, future plans, objectives, and the performance of our products. These statements can be identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "potential," "future," "may," "will," "should," and similar expressions regarding future expectations. These forward-looking statements involve various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent, and likelihood. Therefore, actual performance and results may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to these differences include operational and other complications that may arise affecting the implementation of our plans and business objectives; continued pressures caused by economic conditions and the pace and extent of the economic recovery; challenges that may arise in connection with the integration of new businesses or assets we acquire or the disposition of assets; issues unique to government contracting, such as competitive bidding processes, qualification requirements, and delays or changes in funding; disruptions within our dealer network; changes in our relationships with major customers, suppliers, or other business partners, including Isuzu; changes in the demand or supply of products within our markets or raw materials needed to manufacture those products; and changes in laws and regulations affecting our business. Other factors that could affect outcomes are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov or our website. All forward-looking statements in this release are qualified by this paragraph. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
CONTACT: Russell T. Chick Corporate Director of Marketing Spartan Motors, Inc. 517.997.3852