Trudell Trailers and its senior management team have formed a new company, Wisconsin Bus Sales LLC, with each holding a 50 percent ownership position.
The new company has acquired Wisconsin Bus Sales & Service Inc. (WBSS), which distributes the Blue Bird brand of buses for the entire state of Wisconsin. WBSS, based in De Forest, Wis., has been renamed Wisconsin Bus Sales and will operate as a separate division.
“This acquisition fits with the strategic vision the Trudell management team has for diversifying Trudell Trailers by adding entities that provide synergistic opportunities for growth,” said Dennis Van Lannen, executive vice president of Trudell. “Our intent is to take advantage of the growth opportunity we see for Wisconsin Bus Sales & Service and enhance it with the service capabilities of Trudell Trailers. Bringing our two companies together has made each much stronger.”
Through its multiple locations, Trudell will improve the ability of Wisconsin Bus Sales to more completely service the entire Wisconsin school bus industry.
“The affiliation with Trudell puts Wisconsin Bus Sales in an unparalleled position to capitalize on the growing needs of the school bus industry,” said Mike Kutchin, former president of WBSS. “Our team has done an outstanding job taking care of our customers. But the time was right to step up to the next level.
“Aftermarket service and parts support have become a more critical component of our industry. As a result of our partnership, we¹ll be able to utilize Trudell facilities, thereby enhancing our service and parts capabilities.”
WBSS has eight employees, all of which will continue as part of the new company. The De Forest operations include a 10,000-sq.-ft. sales and service facility. Kutchin will remain with Wisconsin Bus Sales for three to six months to assist in transitioning day-to-day management of operations.