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Vehicle manufacturer to locate in North Charleston

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A Charlotte, Mich.-based specialty commercial and retail vehicle manufacturer, is establishing a facility in North Charleston with a $1.15 million investment that is expected to create over 300 new jobs.

Spartan Motor Inc.’s Charleston County operations at 6555 Fain St. will include production of industry-specific custom shelving, lighting and ergonomic design services for commercial vehicles under the Utilimaster brand.

The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded Charleston County a $100,000 set-aside grant to assist with costs of building improvements for Spartan Motors.

“Spartan Motors is pleased to add North Charleston to our growing global manufacturing footprint,” said Spartan Motors President and CEO Daryl Adams in a news release. “We are big believers in the skilled tradespeople of North Charleston and the larger region, and we know the talent available here will allow us to manufacture to the standard of excellence our customers have come to expect.”

Charleston Regional Development Alliance Chairman John Hagerty said in the release that locating in the Lowcountry allows Spartan Motors to better serve its customer Mercedes-Benz Vans, which manufactures Sprinter vans in Ladson.

“Spartan Motors will be a tremendous asset to our growing automotive cluster,” Hagerty said.

Spartan Motors was founded in 1975 as a designer and builder of custom firetruck cabs and chassis. The company currently manufactures and assembles specialty vehicles for the commercial and retail industry, including last-mile delivery, specialty service and industry-specific upfitting, as well as for the emergency response and recreational vehicle markets.

According to its 2018 annual report (.pdf), 68.6% of Spartan Motors’ annual revenue last year came from commercial, original equipment manufacturers, dealers and end users, while 31.4% came from municipalities and other government entities. Spartan Motors’ net earnings in 2018 were $15 million.

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