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Advanced Vehicle Systems Plans to Move Operations

Advanced Vehicle Systems (AVS), a Chattanooga TN-based battery-powered bus manufacturer, has completed purchase of a 45-acre site in Chattanooga and intends to start operations there soon. The company also is considering locating production operations at the former Choo-Choo Customs facility. The price paid for the site was $3.3 million, AVS reported.

Located on Lee Highway near Interstate 75, the plant has a manufacturing facility with more than 100,000 square feet of space. Kurt Faires, owner of Choo-Choo Customs, said he planned to sell the company's van conversion and specialty parts divisions.

AVS plans to transfer production of its 30- and 35-foot buses from its Lookout Valley plant to the new site soon. Currently employing about 70 workers, the company expects to have up to 120 by the end of 2000. It is now filling an order for 11 buses (30 and 35 feet long) for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority.

The complete AVS operation should be relocated by year-end, says Rick Hitchcock, company president. No decision has been made on what to do with the Lookout Valley site.

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