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Spartan Motors Utilizes Voice of Market to Develop Latest Concepts

INDIANAPOLIS, April 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPAR) ("Spartan" or the "Company") prides itself on utilizing the voice of the market (VOM) to develop innovations. Today through Saturday at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), the Company will have several concept products on display for feedback.

"Spartan Motors finds great importance in the voice of the market process," said John Sztykiel, President and CEO of Spartan Motors. "As a 'customer-centric' organization, voice of the market is the cornerstone of our product development process, and events like FDIC provide a very efficient means to gather feedback on new products/services and unmet needs from a broad cross section of the market, particularly decision makers and international customers ."

The Mobile Hotspot and Connectivity concepts on display at FDIC are excellent examples of Spartan utilizing the voice of the market process. In August 2012, Spartan Motors executives spoke with Chief Steve Lohr of the Montgomery (MD) Fire Department in regard to the need for 100% emergency response connectivity, enabling all required communications. Soon thereafter, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast – disabling communications for many first responders, as over 25% of the cell towers were inoperative. More recently, following the latest tragedy during the Boston Marathon; cell towers were overloaded and inoperable at times, creating communication issues for first responders.

Following the discussion with Chief Lohr, Spartan's technical teams embraced this need and quickly developed the Mobile Hotspot concept, which can be found in the Spartan Chassis booth (no. 2510) at FDIC this year. Over the next three days, Spartan Engineers will demonstrate this solution, discuss the enabling technologies and user interface, and then capture customer feedback to further optimize the solution.

"What's great is we engaged with the marketplace, listened proactively and developed this product with speed. This VOM process is a key contributor to the sales and backlog growth," said Sztykiel.

The company utilizes a collection of research techniques to drive the VOM process, which fall into two classifications:

Qualitative Methods

  • Observational techniques: ethnographic research
  • Focus groups
  • One-on-one interviews: intercepts

Quantitative Methods

  • Tracking surveys: Brand/communications tracking studies
  • Segmentation studies: end-user or firmographics
  • End-user surveys

The voice of market process is a critical part of creating products that redefine technology and innovation and extend the Company's core markets, both which are a part of Spartan's D.R.I.V.E. business strategy.

D.R.I.V.E.

  • Diversified Growth
  • Redefining Technology and Innovation, Develop Exciting Products Value
  • Integration of the Enterprise to Achieve Operational Improvement
  • Vibrant Culture
  • Extend Our Core Markets

Building on this plan, D.R.I.V.E. encourages heightened focus, teamwork and a common approach. It will align associate efforts and emphasize the importance of both collaboration and integration across business units. This strategy will enable diversification and limit exposure to industry cyclicality.

About Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle (RV), emergency response, government services, defense, and delivery and service markets. The Company's brand names – Spartan™, Spartan Chassis™, Spartan ER™, Spartan ERV™ and Utilimaster® - are known for quality, performance, service and first-to-market innovation. The Company employs approximately 1,700 associates at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana and Florida. Spartan reported sales of $471 million in 2012 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at www.spartanmotors.com.

This release contains several forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements concerning our business, strategic position, financial strength, future plans, objectives, and the performance of our products. These statements can be identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "potential," "future," "may," "will," "should," and similar expressions regarding future expectations. These forward-looking statements involve various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent, and likelihood. Therefore, actual performance and results may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to these differences include operational and other complications that may arise affecting the implementation of our plans and business objectives; continued pressures caused by economic conditions and the pace and extent of the economic recovery; challenges that may arise in connection with the integration of new businesses or assets we acquire or the disposition of assets; issues unique to government contracting, such as competitive bidding processes, qualification requirements, and delays or changes in funding; disruptions within our dealer network; changes in our relationships with major customers, suppliers, or other business partners, including Isuzu; changes in the demand or supply of products within our markets or raw materials needed to manufacture those products; and changes in laws and regulations affecting our business. Other factors that could affect outcomes are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov or our website. All forward-looking statements in this release are qualified by this paragraph. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

CONTACT: Russell T. Chick Corporate Director of Marketing Spartan Motors, Inc. 517.997.3852Source:Spartan Motors, Inc.