CHARLOTTE, Mich., Feb. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan Chassis, a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), welcomed its original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their dealers to the Lansing, Mich., region for its annual Sales Training Conference Feb. 16-19. Each year, Spartan Chassis utilizes the event to align the extended enterprise with its current market offerings through vital training sessions and presentations.

"The 2014 event centered a portion of the conference on the manufacturing process of our products," said Michael Bowman, Director of Sales, Emergency Response Chassis. "This hands-on approach differentiates not only our training, but more importantly our products for both the OEMs and their dealers. With the reduction in classroom training, our attendees can maximize the learning opportunity and experience the assembly process first-hand. The guests learn directly from those intimately involved in the build process of every cab/chassis."

The Sales Training Conference is a two-fold approach for Spartan Chassis. Not only are attendees able to get a glimpse of the company's upcoming innovations slated for 2014, but the participants also interact directly with Spartan Chassis decision makers and suppliers to further improve the company's voice of the market/customer procedure.

"The voice of the market process is of great importance to Spartan Chassis. This procedure is the cornerstone of our product development process, and events like the Sales Training Conference provide a very efficient means to gather feedback from the market. Our model works. We were very pleased with demand for Spartan Chassis in 2013; we continued to see the number of conquest orders improving," Bowman stated.

The buzz generated in 2012 with the launch of the Spartan Advanced Protection System (APS) continued in 2013 with the APS being specified on over 70% of the orders received. With best-in-class performance, APS includes safety features never before available in the cab/chassis. Several industry firsts include: full side curtain airbags that are seven times larger than competitors', driver-side knee airbags to lock the lower body into place, and outboard sensors to provide a zone of safety for occupants. Additional industry firsts include outboard sensors for faster deployment of airbags and protect occupants from side impact collisions, rollovers and occupant ejection and advanced seat belts to help control the strain on each occupant.

In 2014, Spartan Chassis will take you " Beneath the Armor" and present a closer look inside its Advanced Protection System (APS). Beneath the Armor is a Spartan Chassis recently-launched campaign which provides a unique look at the key features and components comprising APS.

During the event, over 150 attendees were immersed in the Spartan Chassis state-of-the-art design, engineering and assembly processes located in Plant 3 (52,194 sq. ft.) and Plant 8 (106,838 sq. ft.) at the company's headquarters in Charlotte, Mich., located just minutes south of Lansing. The company segmented the assembly process into six tour stops, at which the attendees were trained by a combination of Spartan Chassis Associates from engineering, manufacturing and various customer-facing teams. The experiential nature of the tour stops enable OEMs and their dealers the opportunity to see first-hand the company's best-in-class manufacturing practices, technology development programs, quality systems and, most importantly, the dedicated Spartan Chassis Associates, many of which have firefighting experience.

In addition to Spartan Chassis' training, the conference attendees had the opportunity to participate in an exhibitor event with several of Spartan Chassis' supplier partners. Each provided the attendees a chance to learn more about several products used in emergency response vehicles.

About Spartan Chassis, Inc.

Spartan Chassis, Inc. is a world-class leader in the engineering, manufacturing and marketing of chassis and aftermarket parts for emergency response, recreational vehicle (RV), defense and specialty vehicles. End users recognize and request the Spartan Chassis brand, which consistently delivers superior performance, exceptional safety ratings and innovations which distinguish us from the competition. Visit Spartan Chassis at

About Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle (RV), emergency response, government services, defense, and delivery and service markets. The Company's brand names – Spartan™, Spartan Chassis™, Spartan ER™, 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, and Florida. Spartan reported sales of $470 million in 2013 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at

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 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