Fire truck maker Crimson Fire, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc., today announced it is building a new state-of-the-art facility adjacent to its existing Brandon, S.D., headquarters that will allow the company to add new equipment and meet growing demand for its products.
Crimson Fire said the first phase of the new 32,000-square-foot facility will include additional manufacturing space and corporate offices, while the second phase will feature a product showroom and technology demonstration area.
The new facility's assembly plant is expected to begin production in the fourth quarter, with the showroom slated to open for customers and dealers in 2005. The new facility will add capacity for the engineering and production of Crimson Fire's Star Series fire trucks and will double Crimson's manufacturing capacity in South Dakota.
Crimson Fire said its order backlog was up 28% at the end of the first quarter 2004 versus year-end 2003, and up 54% compared with the same time last year.
"We've made tremendous strides over the last two years on both the product side and the expansion of our dealer network, and our order backlog growth has outstripped our capacity," said Jeff Lautt, president of Crimson Fire. "This new facility allows us to add new equipment and space so we can build more trucks in a more efficient manner. At the same time, this project addresses our long-term needs and reflects the investment we are willing to make to become a leader in the fire truck market."
Construction for the new $3 million facility is already underway. Crimson expects to employ at least 30 additional workers in South Dakota once the expansion is complete.