Spartan Chassis Presents Suspension Innovations at RVIA

New System Consolidates Part Count and Improves Ride and Handling of Recreational Vehicles

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| Source: Spartan Motors, Inc.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan Chassis, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR), today presented a Compressible Fluid Strut (CFS) that offers a collection of performance benefits and opportunities for part-count reduction. The single unit combines fluid spring, shock absorber, damping and actuation functions into a lightweight and compact design. The CFS is currently undergoing Spartan testing and is manufactured by Horstman Incorporated of Sterling Heights, MI.

"The psychographic profile of today's RV owner is far more diverse than years past. The outdoor activities they enjoy run the gamut and the amount of equipment carried on the coach continues to escalate year after year. The additional weight places greater demands on the RV suspension," said Tom Gorman, Chief Operating Officer, Spartan Motors. "Concurrently, the customer's ride quality and vehicle handling expectations are also increasing so we need to continually explore development of higher performing suspension systems and early indications are the CFS out-performs current technologies."

Horstman CFS benefits:

  • Reduced response time and greater damping power than a hydropneumatic system
  • Fluid compression requires no hydraulic flow to respond to load inputs, providing instantaneous response
  • Performs well in severe, high-speed and cross-country applications
  • Improved heat rejection eliminates "damper fade"
  • Strut is compatible with trailing arm, leading arm, McPherson and wishbone suspension configurations
  • Significantly longer life than traditional shock absorbers

"All of these benefits ultimately lead to significantly reduced vehicle roll and pitch, and increased vehicle stability and handling," stated Drew Lippert, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Horstman Incorporated.  "For nearly 100 years, Horstman has been dedicated to using technological advances to significantly improve the safety and comfort of vehicle operators. To this end, Horstman has partnered with Spartan to bring this life saving technology to market."

The CFS is also suited to vehicle upgrades for original designs by replacing the shock absorbers. CFS can operate as a bolt-on suspension upgrade alongside a traditional spring, or in a stand-alone configuration. Units can be supplied with a variety of end fixtures depending on the suspension geometry, as well as an optional Ride Height Control System to expand vehicle capability.

Spartan has always led the industry with after the sale support:

  • Customer support: superior after the sale service provided by over 585 authorized Spartan service providers
  • Customer service: the best Roadside Assistance program provided in partnership with Good Sam and their network of over 40,000 mobile service providers

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 spartanchassis.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.

About Horstman

Horstman, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty suspension systems for a wide range of markets. Horstman has been known for its development of high performance suspension technologies worldwide since 1913. With facilities, in Michigan, Louisiana, Toronto, and the United Kingdom, Horstman is truly a global supplier of mobility solutions. Visit Horstman at www.horstmaninc.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.

Russell T. Chick
Corporate Director of Marketing
Spartan Motors, Inc.
517.997.3852