Utilimaster plant expected to create 200 jobs

BRISTOL — The opening of an additional Utilimaster vehicle-production facility in Elkhart County is expected to create 200 more jobs, Spartan Motors Inc. said.

The new facility will also support aftermarket parts and service, and research and development, the company said.

Located less than 3 miles from Utilimaster’s headquarters in Bristol, the new 105,000-square-foot facility will be instrumental in bringing products to market and accommodating production overflow from increased demand for commercial and fleet delivery, and specialty service vehicles, the company said.

A news release said Utilimaster’s flagship Bristol facility will begin second-shift operations, adding about 200 jobs, to accommodate increased demand while the new facility is being equipped.

Jobs include full-time associates supported by contract associates. Open positions include engineers, supervisors, team leaders, warehouse staff and assemblers.

“Expanding our footprint into our new 105,000-square-foot facility represents not only Utilimaster’s growth, but also our commitment to the Bristol community,” said Chad Heminover, president, Spartan Fleet Vehicles and Services. “We’re proud to be in a position to invest back into the business to secure our leadership position and help ensure future growth by leading first-to-last-mile delivery and specialty service innovation.”

Town manager Michael Mitchell said he knew the company had been adding jobs the past year, but he was unaware of an additional facility. Elkhart County economic development officials said they also were unaware of the company’s plans.

Utilimaster, founded in 1973 in Wakarusa, makes step vans, parcel delivery vans and truck bodies. The company is a brand of Spartan Motors, headquartered in Charlotte, Michigan.

The location of the plant and other details of the company’s plans were not immediately available Friday.

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