DaimlerChrysler's Freightliner LLC has reached an agreement to transfer ownership of its fire apparatus and emergency vehicles business unit, American LaFrance, to the New York-based investment firm, Patriarch Partners LLC.
Andreas Renschler, the DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member responsible for the Commercial Vehicles Division, said: “Under the ‘Global Excellence’ initiative we are reviewing the portfolio of our commercial vehicle businesses and products. The sale of American LaFrance is a result of this process.”
American LaFrance is the country's fifth-largest fire and emergency services vehicle producer with a heritage dating back 173 years. It produces and distributes fire and emergency apparatus including chassis, aerials, ambulances, pumpers, rescues, and tankers.
In addition to the purchase of all operating assets, Patriarch will maintain American LaFrance's manufacturing facilities and corporate-owned dealer locations across the United States. The Ladson SC corporate office building and assembly facility, that is not part of the sale, remains a DaimlerChrysler asset. It will be used in part by American LaFrance until 2007.
DaimlerChrysler recently announced that it will be dedicating the 460,000-square-foot facility to assembly of the next-generation Dodge Sprinter van. Initially, 220 employees will be engaged in production when the plant assembles its first van by the end of 2006.